Sunday, April 27, 2014
Team Survivor Northwest 4th Annual “Walk with Friends 5K” at Marymoor Park (Redmond) on Sunday, April 27, 2014! If you would like to volunteer for the event, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can register for this event through our website at http://www.teamsurvivornw.org
Each year Team Survivor Northwest hosts their annual Walk with Friends event. This is a great way to kick off spring one step at a time. The spring and summer is a great time to get out there and get moving! It always amazes me how much people underestimate the simple act of walking. There is a misconception that people have to do rigorous activities such as running to get in shape. However, walking is a wonderful way to get back out there and start breaking a sweat! Walk with Friends is a great event for this because it is a great way to not only start off spring on a healthy note, but also to meet other people in the community and to as the name suggests, make new friends and reacquaint with old ones. TSNW’s annual Walk with Friends will be held on April 27th, 2014 at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA. Registration is now open and is available through the Team Survivor Northwest website at www.teamsurvivornw.org.
This event is also a great opportunity to support a great cause! Team Survivor Northwest is a non-profit organization that offers fitness classes at no cost to all female cancer survivors. We offer a variety of fitness programs designed to meet the needs of women at any stage of their cancer journey. Our goal is to help these women take an active role in their ongoing physical and emotional healing. It is also our goal to help them find a sense of camaraderie. I work in the oncology field, and find that the hardest time for many of my patients is surprisingly when they finish treatment. They are not seeing their care team as much and I think there is a sense of fear and anxiety around the question of what next? Team Survivor hopes to help survivors through that stage of what’s next through fitness but also through introducing them to many other survivors that can relate and help them through this process.
Joan Tierney, a survivor and member of Team Survivor Northwest, was kind enough to share her journey. For Joan walking helped her through one of the most difficult times in her life, and becoming a member of Team Survivor Northwest helped her to share that journey with so many others. We are grateful to Joan for sharing her inspiring road to recovery:
“Growing up in New England, walking was always a fun activity shared with my sisters and parents, regardless of the weather. I appreciated the sound of crunching leaves in the fall, the sights of the glistening snow and frost on winter days, the smells of lilacs, hyacinths, and fresh cut grass in spring, and best of all the feeling of sand, sun, and saltwater of the beaches we walked on for hours.
Now, as I walk through the seasons, it is part of my journey to health and wellness, a journey that I share with the women of Team Survivor NW, as they encourage and celebrate my personal goal of walking in one 5K event each month.
My cancer diagnosis and treatment was uneventful, but it left me with severe lymphedema in my legs and pelvis. Undaunted by this potentially debilitating condition, I pursued manual lymph drainage, swimming, yoga and healthy steps classes through Cancer Lifeline , where I met Mary Carney and Elaine Eigeman. Mary invited me to participate in the March 2012 Walk with Friends Event at Marymoor Park. My legs gave way just before the turn around, we were soaked from the pouring rain, but the enthusiasm of the walkers and runners was contagious and I wanted to learn more about Team Survivor NW, so when Mary encouraged me to attend the 2013 retreat, I jumped at the opportunity.
It was at the retreat where I met Brenda Frost who spoke about the walk/run training group and her recent completion of the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. It was at this moment that I realized that I, too, could utilize the training group, set a goal and find the Tinkerbell inside of me. I had successfully completed the 2012 Iron Girl 5 K with a 21 minute pace and had the shin splints to prove it. Now it was time to learn from a coach and train for endurance and proper technique. I left the retreat with a personal goal of walking in three summer 5K events and the means to achieve it.
When I signed up for the Run/Walk group, I was delighted to learn that the coach was Kristina Englund who had been my fitness Core trainer in my pre-cancer days. I had come full circle and was back working with a trusted coach. I started out slowly and built myself up to complete the 2013 May Walk with Friends, the June Shore Run, benefitting Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the July See Jane Run Event with my daughter. I completed the entire Walk with Friends Course and met my fundraising goal; I increased my time to 1:12 and enjoyed the views of Lake Washington as my husband, David and I completed the 35th Annual Shore Run, and my daughter and I loved our “I Ran for Chocolate” medals earned during See Jane Run.
During the Shore Run, I met two young survivors who challenged me to walk a 5K each month. August found David and I walking in the Columbia Winery Walk for Children’s Hospital, and upon completion, I immediately searched for my next event. I walked in the Women of Wonder Event, a very special 5K for me. For as I rounded the last lap of the event, I saw Mary Carney’s amazing smile, as she said, “I already finished, but I came for you, so we could walk over the finish line together.” October marked the Husky Dawg Dash. David and I enjoyed the fall foliage and the Husky Marching Band playing “So Glad you Made It” as we approached the Drumheller Fountain. We also walked the 2.5 mile Pumpkin Push for Neighborhood Health Clinics during October and the two mile Breast Cancer Walk.
My November event was the Seattle Marathon Santa v Super Heroes 5K where David and I were joined by our son, Noah and daughter, Michele. Walking from the Seattle Center to Benaroya Hall, we really enjoyed the architecture and beauty of Downtown. Upon completion, we watched the Children’s Hospital patients walk their last mile needed to complete their 26 mile walking goal. There was not a dry eye as we cheered them on.
December found Michele and I walking up the hills of Kirkland in the 12Ks of Christmas, benefitting foster children, and on January 1, we were joined my friend Nicole and her dogs on the Dry Run of the Resolution Run and Polar Bear event. It was fitting to walk with David and Michele in the Love em or Leave em Valentines Dash for my February walk. I have registered for the March St. Pat’s Day Dash.
It is fitting, that I complete my 12 for 12 goal at the April Walk with Friends 5K. I hope to see everyone there as we all celebrate our commitment to health and wellness.
As I completed each walk, I was not only stronger and healthier, but I was feeling part of a great community of walkers, runners, joggers, and strollers gathering not only for ourselves but for the causes that are near and dear to us.
Thank you Team Survivor NW, Coach Kit, family, and friends supporting me on this journey. April will find me training for a 10K See Jane Run and maybe, with Chi Walking techniques learned at the 2014 Retreat, I can complete the Tinkerbell Half with Brenda Frost. See you on the circuit.”
First we would like to thank Joan for sharing her wonderful story. I think it is always motivating to hear other people’s journeys and see that even when things seem impossible they are possible. At Team Survivor Northwest we try to help our members persevere through those difficult times, by having people like Joan by their side. It is our goal to help build the sense of community that Joan speaks of among our members. So, come join the Team Survivor Northwest community and come walk with friends on April 27th!
Blog written by Adrienne Coleman, Outreach Coordinator for Team Survivor Northwest. Special thanks to Joan Tierney for her participation in this blog.