Pink is the New Black

Pink+is+the+New+Black

Lisa Dreher, Culture Editor

Fridays always carry a typical cheer and sigh of relief, what with the end of an exhausting week for the students and also the coming weekend, promising reuniting with loved ones or just loved alone time. For junior Emilie Williams, those three days were even more exceptional. As fellow students trudged out of the double doors of the campus and went home to take off their shoes to relieve sore feet, Williams put on her Nike Flex and began a journey with a much more greater purpose than just a good workout.

From November 1 to 3, Williams participated in Susan G. Komen’s 3-Day walk in Dallas to fight breast cancer. The trek was 60 miles long, spanning from Collin Creek Mall in Plano to Fair Park in Dallas. Each day 20 miles were walked, but the number could not intimidate Williams because of her healthy physical state from a five-month period of training and, more importantly, her reason for participating.

“I have four family members that have passed from breast cancer. I remember in fifth grade my mom did her first 3-Day, and I thought it was the coolest thing,” Williams said.

Every three to four miles a pit stop awaited, where walkers were required to refill water, get a snack and stretch. Despite the aid, many endured blisters and struggled.

“On day six, mile 16, my mom got a really bad blister and got on a sweep van (vans that transport participants who may not be able to continue to the next pit stop). I was doubting if I could do it because… she is my walking buddy”.

Williams’ mom motivated her whether in her presence or not because of her enthusiasm and gratification for Williams’ choice to walk alongside her in the powerful event.

“She was really excited. It is something that means a lot to her and her family personally.”

After “limping to the finish line” in her Chako sandals, Williams felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment for herself and fellow tenacious, passionate attendants.

“I got really emotional [and] started crying. It was something I wanted to do for a really long time.”

The 3-Day event successfully raised $4.3 million, and in that contribution Williams raised $2,648. The amount of money itself was valuable and part of her goal, but Williams’ sense of fulfillment consisted primarily of just being able to spread awareness and contribute to helping in the fight against the disease.

“[There was] no personal goal, I just knew so many women who lost their lives to it, and no one needs to suffer from it,” said Williams. “I saw women with shaved heads and in wheelchairs being pushed by family over the finish line, and it made me feel like what I just completed would have an impact on their treatment or even cure their cancer.”

Williams looks forward to the next Susan G. Komen event, and will delightedly sign up in December as soon as registration opens.