She’s Saving Lives, One Step at a Time

By Cancer Foundation on June 28 / 2017

[Cancer, Events, Families, News, Uncategorized]Comments

Allison McBrine

EPIC WALK Ambassador Allison McBrine shares why she believes the event’s impact will extend far beyond its final year. [Photo: Rachel Gallipeau]

Each year for nearly a decade, I’ve walked in the EPIC WALK. It has been one of my deepest passions.

I am not a doctor or health professional. I don’t have any special talents that can help someone fight cancer, or that can do something to stop this terrible disease from affecting so many. All I have is the need and the want to make a difference, and because of the EPIC WALK, I know that I can.

On September 16, I’ll be walking in the EPIC WALK for the tenth and final time. This particular walk is special to me, because when I look back at the very first one, I see how much has changed.

When I decided to tie up my laces for the first time, I honestly felt like an impostor. I didn’t know anyone who had cancer, and I didn’t really understand quite what it was. It was all very foreign to me; it was just a word. But with each passing year, it moved in closer. Friends of friends were diagnosed. Then it began to affect people closer to me. Finally, that dreaded “C” word did its worst, and took my mom away in a matter of weeks.

But no matter how hard it has been to go on, over my years of being part of the EPIC WALK I have seen huge strides taken in improving cancer care. My eyes have been opened to the progress and the possibilities, and I see people who have been diagnosed having a fighting chance for the first time. I’ve realized cancer is no longer necessarily a death sentence.

When I hear and see these people’s stories, I know we are doing the right thing.

That’s why being a fundraiser for this event is so important to me. My team holds our own fundraising events for the walk where complete strangers approach us and share their stories, explaining what they and their loved ones have gone through because of cancer. And it happens during the walk as well; so many times in those 28 kilometers I’ve been tired and sore, and someone I’ve never met will run up with tears streaming down their face to hug me and say thank you. I’ve been told that people like me are saving lives. The EPIC WALK is long, it’s challenging, but moments like these make us feel that we are accomplishing something. Like we’re truly making a difference for our community.

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Allison and her team, the Avenging Angels, in 2015.
[Photo: Armand Tsai]
 

Being part of the EPIC WALK has showed me what cancer is all about. Yes, the word is scary, and the disease is scary, but there is also so much hope. All of us who have been affected by the walk can see it. Even my ten year old grandson wants to participate this year, and he’s willing to donate his own money and run his own fundraising events. The more we WALK, the more we can share this hope. The more we fundraise, the more money there will be to continue the fight.

Even though this is the last official year for the EPIC WALK, our team has already discussed what the future holds for us. One of the biggest things I have seen over the years is how the EPIC WALK has become a family. A lot of the same people come back year after year, and it is truly amazing to get together with a common goal to make a difference. A walk as big as this one becomes a legacy in of its own. We will continue to fight, we will continue to run events, and we will continue to fundraise. We will continue to bring hope.

We will continue to be EPIC.

Join Allison today and make your own impact at the 2017 Epic Walk!

Register Now

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