By Kaelah Blanchette ‘17 and Yumna Ahmed ‘17
“Making Strides against Breast Cancer” was an event students attended when the American Cancer Society held the annual Breast Cancer Walk at Prospect Park in order to show their support for breast cancer awareness on October 18.
According to the American Cancer Society website, the Breast Cancer Walk started in 1984, when cancer survivor Margery Gould Rath created a “move-along-a-thon” to celebrate fellow cancer survivors. The American Cancer Society picked up the event as their own in 1993. The event has been going on ever since, with attendance from all kinds of people, including our very own Midwood students and club members.
Najah Thurston ‘16, the vice president of Key Club, went on the walk with approximately 50 other members. The club has a tradition when the walk comes around every year, with many members attending.
“Everyone was ready to walk, and we were all united against a cause, which was to raise awareness and money for research about breast cancer,” Thurston said.
Jeraya Kelly ‘17, a member of Key Club, also attended the walk, and while it was her first time experiencing such an event, she believed it stirred emotions of pride and a sense of belonging. “It felt nice to represent Midwood while doing something good. We were actually contributing to a cause that helps people out,” she said.
Along with Key Club members, other Midwood students not in the club also attended the event. Mahmoud Abouelkheir ‘17, who went to the walk for the first time, shared the same views as Kelly.
“I really wanted to know what it was like to help fight against a disease that so many people have been struggling with. I previously didn’t have the opportunity to go on a walk, but with clubs like Key Club and Red Cross, it gives me awareness for something I didn’t know about,” he said.
Abouelkheir, Thurston, and Kelly all recounted their experience with enthusiasm, stating that the atmosphere was “energetic and encouraging.” Abouelkheir also added that the event was filled with “contagious happiness” due to the huge amount of support that was there, including cheerleading squads, marching bands, dancers, step teams and people on stilts.
Although the walk was four miles, Thurston fondly reminisced of her experience while walking and stated that “the first mile seemed to fly by, but then we didn’t see any other mile markers and it seemed to get longer.” Thurston, although worn out from the walk, stated that when it was finished she felt proud of herself and the other Key Club members for sticking around.
Both Thurston and Kelly were amazed at how many people came to support the same goal. “People get to work together towards a common goal, which is to end breast cancer, and that kind of teamwork on such a large scale is just amazing to witness and even cooler to be a part of,” said Thurston.
“There was this energetic vibe about it, and when you join an event like that, you’re helping to raise money and awareness for a very good cause,” according to Kelly.
Kelly and Abouelkheir are not sure of their stance on attending next year’s walk. However, Thurston believes that she’ll go to the next walk to continue to support Key Club. “I would definitely recommend attending the walk in the future, but make sure to bring your friends and a bottle of water or else it won’t be as enjoyable,” she stated.