Team Hope Walking at the 2011 Seattle Brain Cancer Walk

The Seattle Brain Cancer Walk will still incur matching on donations through December 2011. Please go here to contribute:

100% of proceeds will go towards patient care.

For my mom’s story, see my article in the Kent Reporter here:  September 2011 – Melanie Hope from Kent leads ‘Team Hope’ in memory of her mother | Seattle Brain Cancer Walk

The 2011 SBCW starting line

The 2011 Seattle Brain Cancer Walk kicked off with a countdown and a cheer. We headed through a colorful balloon arch, and in a group much larger than last year!

This year’s walk was bittersweet. Last year, mom walked with us. We were supposed to do two loops around and she only managed one, but she did it. She believed with all her heart that she would feel better for the walk this year.

Team Hope Walking at the 2011 Seattle Brain Cancer Walk

The team in front of the fountain

This year, we doubled our team, but it still seemed lonely without mom. We had some returning members – Jim (who has changed from boyfriend to fiancé this past year) Abigail and, of course, me. My sister and Jezzy were not able to make it this year, but we were joined by my dad and a whole bunch of his work and church buddies. Together, we have raised over $1,000 (and counting!) – which will be matched by Boeing and then again by the anonymous donor mentioned in the above article and on the SBCW website.

Jim, Abby & Mélanie at the 2011 Seattle Brain Cancer Walk

We were all high energy and in good spirits at the start. At the very end, I had the great privilege to see Bob (of Team Bob) get out of his wheelchair and cross the finish line on his own power. As I watched this brave, determined man take one painful step after the other, one of his teammates came beside me and saw that I was severely affected by his attempt. She told me that just last year he had run the Boston Marathon. I thought of my mom’s writing, how she lost her ability to read, and how this man can understand my mom’s pain like no other. I burst into tears, then we all burst into cheers as Bob made the last step over the finish line. Only one mini meltdown for me. (well, the only one in public, anyway) Did better than I thought I would.

Abigail wears her sticker proudly on her head at the 2011 SBCW

Abigail was the belle of the ball at the walk, drawing walkers and onlookers to her in the way only she can. She was in heaven as every kid wanted to pet her. She even befriended one of the volunteer mimes. Abby proudly wore her “walking in honor of Grandma” sticker on her head the entire time.

There were several other doggies walking. My favorite were the pair of Mini-Pinchers with their mom, a beautiful woman currently in treatment. I just had to hug her. I missed my mom so much in that moment that we kind of just clutched each other and she let me cry. Again. I hope to God I see her again at next year’s walk!

2011 SBCW Abby Hope shares a smile with a volunteer mime

Abby and a mime share a smile.

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