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Rated: E · Essay · Emotional · #2099644
On September 25, 2016 I took the walk for childhood cancer.
September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Before September 2015, the month didn't really register as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month for me, which I know is terrible to admit. However, after a friend of mine had a five-year-old daughter diagnosed with Leukemia on September 6, 2015, the meaning of September changed for me, as it changed for our entire writing community. This was the first year that I recognized September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a month that is used to fundraise for various causes and hospitals that help children (and their parents) battle the monster known as cancer.

One morning as I was riding the train to work, I noticed an ad for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) hanging up near the door. CHOP was advertising their fun run/walk for September 25, 2016. While I've participated in polar plunges for charity, I had never participated in a walk for charity. I decided I would sign up, I would sign up for my friend's daughter; I would raise money for her daughter, as well as the children and their families that utilize CHOP's services. I raised $175 for the charity by reaching out through e-mail and social media.

The morning of September 25, 2016, was beautiful. I had to get up at 5 AM (not much different than a work day) to be in Philadelphia by 7 AM. The fun run/walk started at 8:30, but the opening ceremony was at 8 AM. When I arrived, I was amazed to see how many people were participating in this event. Some of the patients were also participating in the walk. Seeing some of the children made me cry; after reading what my friend and her daughter go through, I could only imagine what these children go through on a daily basis. The least I could do for them is participating in a walk for charity.

During the opening ceremony, we were informed we raised over $1 million for CHOP, and they expect to raise over $2 million by the end of 2016. The opening ceremony, with information about CHOP, what the cause is for, how many children they have helped over the years, went quickly. By 8:30 AM, the runners were beginning to run.

As a walker, our start time was 8:45 AM. We walked a 2K and walking around Eakins Oval, Logan Square, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Franklin Institute, then back to the Philadelphia Museum of Art was a beautiful walk. I loved taking selfies with the international flags as I walked. The sky was also a crystal blue and the temperature was perfect. There was a chill in the air, but as I walked, I didn't notice the chill. I had my iPod on and rocked out as I walked. I finished the 2K in 35 minutes.

I would participate in a walk for charity again. It was great to get moving for a good cause that helps others. I would also recommend it to everyone, even if one is not totally fit. With charity walks, they make them easy so anyone can participate and have fun. And I had a lot of fun that day!

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