Sunday, October 18, 2009

Walking on Sunshine

There are heroes, and then there are superheroes. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

People like the six women from the Neiman Group -- Amy, Cate, Whitney, Alex, Kelly and Karen -- who joined thousands of others this weekend in the Susan Komen 3-Day, 60 mile Walk for the Cure in Philadelphia.

Despite a Nor'easter that swirled around them and prompted the organizers to cancel Friday and Saturday's walk segments, the Neiman Team -- "For Our Girls" -- kept their promise. They stuck to their plan and their commitment to a greater cause. With the official walking course closed, they took to the shelter of the King of Prussia Mall and walked 20 miles around the mall. On Saturday, with the official walk still postponed, they braved the unseasonably cold temperatures and steady rain and walked another 20 miles. The weather would not stop this team.

Karen joined the team on Sunday, originally hoping to participate in the opening ceremony and walk just a few miles to show her support. But those of us who know Karen also know that she never does anything part way. When she's in, she's all in. And so just three days after her chemo treatment, and without the juice of her wonder drug, Decadron (more on that later), she walked today's entire 15 mile course.

Was it lunacy for Karen to undertake such an ambitious effort with no training and weakened by 11 chemo treatments? Maybe. Her doctor gave her a green light to participate -- but that was when Karen planned to only walk a few miles. Yet she walked -- energized by the honor of participating in a emotional tribute and celebration of cancer survivors -- a group to which she now belonged. She walked -- lifted by the support of her friends and propelled by an inner strength that only she could understand. Though the weather was gloomy, as they walked across the finish line, Karen and the Neiman Team were walking on sunshine.

Many tears flowed as the walkers raised their sneakers to honor the cancer surviors. I can't adequately capture the emotions these women felt as they walked the course or participated in the emotional closing ceremonies. For Karen, the event, was incredibly moving. It was a moment she had not yet experienced in her "journey" and may very well prove to be a transformative one.

To Amy, Cate, Alex, Kelly, Whitney and Karen -- and to all those who participated in the 3-Day Walk or made a donation (the Neiman Team raised over $15,000; the Philadelphia walk raised over $8 million), congratulations on this extraordinary achievement!

And to those who read the blog, please take a moment to congratulate Karen and the Neiman Team by leaving a comment on this blog posting. I am sure that they would appreciate your support and encouragement.

For more photos of the walk and the event, go to:


  1. Karen,
    Congratulations on completing 15 miles! That's awesome and it must have been very tiring for you but what a fabulous accomplishment with some amazing friends.
    Kudos to Brian for writing about your journey. You have some amazing supporters! Keep hanging in there, you're on a lot of prayer lists.

    Vicki Flohr

  2. Karen,
    WOW!!! Way to go. You are amazing, truly amazing. Next year, I'll join you and we can walk all 60.
    Love, Liz

  3. Karen,

    How amazing... I've always admired your style, but never more than now. And what a beautiful blog. Sending you every good wish, Karen Gray

  4. Hi Karen and Brian!
    My name is Brian and my wife's name is Laurie and we were diagnosed April 1, 2008!
    I would love to talk with both of you to share our journey and fight!
    Please call me at 395-7712 anytime!

  5. A fighter don't quit, I was once a breast cancer patient but was cured with rso cannabis oil 4 months ago. My life is amazing now with my lovely family to smile with, if you have case like cancer don't hesitate to look for an answer to your problem. Don't die of your silence and know that if you don't find answers to your own problems they will only grow much bigger and fast.