Friday, September 13, 2013

Friends for Life... Reflections from The Jimmy Fund Walk

I used to wonder what it would have been like to attend a big college for my undergraduate degree.  I went to a smaller state school (Framingham State... Go Rams!) and it sometimes felt like "high school, part 2"... everyone knew everyone else's business.  The school was so small - about 3000 students when I was there and only half of whom lived on campus - that it was practically impossible to NOT know who hooked up that weekend or where the (limited) off-campus parties were taking place.

However, had I not attended Framingham, I never would have met some of my closest friends.  I literally could write daily blog posts for the next 5 years about our escapades and not even scratch the surface on the number of memories that I share with these girls.  (I wouldn't do that though because I'm sworn to secrecy on much of it!)

What exactly were we planning to wear boas to??  Sorry, top secret...

We've lived together, been on spring breaks together, attended each other's weddings, been IN each other's weddings, cooked dinners together, taken weekend trips, laughed with each other through good times and used each other's shoulders to lean on during bad times.

Luckily, there's more laughing through the good times :)

September Girls' Cape Weekend is our annual weekend getaway, typically held on the weekend following Labor Day.  This year was a little different though.

One of my friend's BFF from grade school, Kerri, was diagnosed with Choriocarcinoma earlier this year and started undergoing treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Unsurprisingly, my friend wasted no time kicking into support mode to do anything she could to help.  It was never a hesitation for the rest of us to express our support for her as well.

One of the ways she wanted to help was to form a team and raise money for cancer research at Dana-Farber, through the 25th Annual Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk.  The Walk was taking place the Sunday after Labor Day so we immediately canceled our Cape trip and joined her efforts to raise money as part of Team Kerri's Crew.

This past weekend, a few of us walked the 2nd half of the Boston Marathon route (13.1 miles) having collectively raised over $4,300 for Dana-Farber!  We had such a good time during the walk that it didn't even feel like we walked as far as we did... although my muscles begged to differ the next day. A few other team members walked the 5-mile route with their kids and a few more walked the ENTIRE 26.2 miles! SO proud of Kerri's Crew!

a handful of my Kerri's Crew teammates
courtesy of Young at Heart Images

Most of us were also walking in memory or in honor of family members and friends that are/were affected by cancer. Throughout the fundraising process and even during the walk, I was constantly reminded of how precious each day is and the importance of this amazing cause. I was so proud to be involved with it and to share this day with my friends and Kerri.  Life really is too short to take anything for granted.

My college friends and I don't get together as a group as often as we used to.  We all live in different areas these days - most in MA but a couple are in different states.  Plus almost everyone has young families now... which is why this September Girls' Cape Weekend has become sort of a "sacred" and steadfast tradition. Our rescheduled date is this weekend and I couldn't be more excited!

Even though it's been 14-15 years since we all graduated (um, holy crap!), it never feels like it when we're together... we may all be busy workplace professionals now and/or seamlessly running a hectic household but we're still just as almost as crazy as we were at age 21, haha.

Nowadays, when I drive by a school like Boston University or UMass, I still sometimes think about how different life would have been had I chosen a bigger school like that...

...and then thank my lucky stars that I'll never know :)

Kerri's treatments have been going well and we are convinced that she will KICK cancer to the curb!  If you are interested in helping to support Kerri's Crew and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, donations will be accepted up until September 30th, 2013.  You can check out our team page here for more information :)

The whole Crew, post-Jimmy Fund Walk

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post Moe! Kudos to you and your crew for raising so much money for such a worthwhile cause! I will be keeping your friend Kerri in my thoughts xo