Honestly, when we came up with the idea for the Walk, in late July, we had no idea what would happen. Would people participate? Would there be 10 participants? 100? More? How would it all work logistically? Given that our community is spread out all over the world, would this Walk actually happen?
However, as has always been our view, if we made one person more aware of stomach cancer, then the effort would be worth it, no matter how many people participated or how much money was raised.
So, on August 29th, after a crazy four weeks of working through the logistics, we shared the idea with the No Stomach For Cancer community. Four months later, we are excited to share with you that the Walk did much more that make one person aware of stomach cancer.
Financially, the Walk was very successful. If you registered for the Walk and participated individually or as part of a more formal walk…if you set up a fundraising page on Crowdrise…if you collected donations from family and friends…if you made a donation…Whether you made a financial contribution yourself, or encouraged others to do so, YOU helped raise the $35,415 that will go DIRECTLY to stomach cancer research. YOU made this happen. Needless to say, we are thrilled with the amount of money raised that will go to stomach cancer research.
However, we are equally excited about the awareness that took place around the globe. Whether you were in the United States, where people in 35 states and Washington, D.C. participated, or you were in one of the 10 other countries where Walks took place, you were among the 1,000 plus people who raised awareness in their community on November 3rd.
Some people walked at their local mall, grocery store, or high school track, while others walked around a park, an art museum, a downtown, a national landmark…Some people walked by themselves, some walked with a friend, and others walked in larger groups…
Some people registered officially and wore their No Stomach For Cancer Walk T-shirts, including some stomach cancer patients, who were physically unable to walk but wore their Walk T-shirts as a symbol support, while others designed their own and personalized them to honor a particular person affected by stomach cancer…Others wore their ordinary clothes and made signs that announced they were raising awareness about stomach cancer. People shared pictures throughout the day on their own Facebook pages as well as on our Unity Wall.
Probably the most incredible part of watching this Walk take shape was the emotional aspect of it…People who did not know one another reached out to work toward a common goal.
They took risks…got involved as Group Organizers…sacrificed time…faced obstacles that required coming up with a plan B…As a result, people connected with others ~ in many cases strangers ~ who had a stomach cancer story…who had a frustration with the lack of awareness about stomach cancer…who wanted to turn a painful experience into an opportunity to save someone else from going through it…who wanted to walk in someone’s memory or to share their story of hope…
Participants shared with us that, throughout this year’s Walk, they were already brainstorming ideas for next year’s No Stomach For Cancer Walk, which will take place on November 2, 2013. In fact, each year, it will occur the first Saturday of November as a way to kick off Stomach Cancer Awareness Month.
We are confident that each year, with our active and growing No Stomach For Cancer community involved, this event will continue to grow — we will continue to raise funds, awareness, and connect people. We know that by “supporting research and uniting the caring power of people worldwide affected by stomach cancer,” a mission statement that we live daily, we will attain our vision of “a world without stomach cancer.”
There are no words to adequately thank you for believing in this Walk and making it happen. Although No Stomach For Cancer is a non-profit organization, we are really a group of ordinary people, volunteers who have been touched by something terrible who are working together to spare others from having to know what we have known firsthand.
We would not exist with your support and involvement. We need to continue to work together to continue to reach our goals. Thank you for all you do.