When everything in the world tells you to quit going, how do you make the voice inside you that keeps you motivated, the voice that got you started, scream so loud that you continue the journey of what you know is right no matter what?!
6 years ago I said "yes". I was called to step up and do something for a cause I knew little about other than it was taking the life of someone that I loved very much. I was "called". What an overused phrase, right?! Let me explain what that meant for me. There was an overwhelming urge inside me that knew I HAD to do something, anything. I couldn't fix the problem. I had no control but I needed to do something that made me feel like I did in some way. When I started that's all I cared about and that's all I saw. I didn't see the underlying problems with the foundation I was raising money for. I didn't see all the bickering and the name-calling and the completely emotional wreckage between people that were fighting for the same cause. I didn't see that people with the same goal continued to tear one another to shreds and were walking away from something that they were once very passionate about.
Finding out that being an advocate for breast cancer was not all rainbows and unicorns was like the time I was a kid and I found out that not every kid thought church camp was as awesome as I did and some of them were just there to meet people of the opposite sex or to get away from their parents. It was like what I felt when I found out that Santa Claus wasn't real or like when I was told not everyone I love will make it into heaven. It was one of those moments when my heart felt heavy and my soul was punched in the gut.
I continue to feel that way even today, as I sit here more motivated than ever, and yet, defeated in some way. The media has been having a field day with the Komen Foundation and the Komen Foundation is having some legitimate issues. How do I defend an organization who has run itself into the ground over the past few years and made some very obvious public relations nightmares for all of us that are trying to raise money for them?
I'm angry. But I'm just not sure who I'm angry at or who I should be directing my anger towards. Some people have chosen to crucify the CEO's that are making six figure salaries. Some are attacking Planned Parenthood or Komen. Some are just blaming the economy of the entire country. What I'm seeing, apparently, there's enough blame to go around. I am disappointed in my fellow advocates and walkers and crew that have allowed the media to distract us from our main goal. We have turned our eyes from our hope and our mission of working as diligently as we can for patients, people we love, for a cure. We have turned away and immersed ourselves in politics, hate, bickering and darkened something that should have never been overshadowed by our human flaws. We have forgotten that we ARE the answer. We ARE THE CURE. If we quit, there is no money, no advances, no awareness, no answers for future generations.
I'm saddened and heartbroken and I have no idea how to fight other than to be persistent in the goals I've had all along. I am trying desperately to block out all the unwanted noise that continues to blind me from what is really important. It gets incredibly difficult on days when funds are slow to roll in, training is SUPER hot and humid, and it seems things are unraveling at the seams.
I am interested to see the future for the largest organization fighting the war on breast cancer. For now, I will consider this a restructuring time for us all. A time when we can regroup and make plans to push ahead in whatever way we need to. Our cause is too great to just walk away. The journey isn't over. The mission isn't complete and therefore, I will not walk away.