I have written many columns during my years at the LaFollette Press.
Some have practically written themselves. Others have been a struggle to get anything on paper.
This is one of those columns.
It is hard to write about someone who you admire and love like a sister. The difficulty is not in knowing they will read your words. The problem comes in finding the right words to describe their selflessness and dedication to a cause.
Jennifer Caldwell knows the pain breast cancer can inflict on a woman. While she has never been faced with the diagnosis that can turn a world upside down several women in her life have. This has made Jennifer a steadfast believer in mammograms. So much so that she doesn’t let her friends slide by without getting them.
Earlier this year she began a walking regime. Initially Jennifer’s walks started when she realized her parents were in better physical shape than she was. But somewhere along the way, her motivation changed.
Instead of lacing up her shoes for herself, Jennifer began doing it for the women in her life that have stared down breast cancer.
Now when she walks every step brings a cure closer for all of us.
In October, Jennifer and Jill Moore will take part in the Komen 3Day for the Cure event in Atlanta, Ga. These two ladies are going to walk 60 miles in three days to support breast cancer awareness and research.
Yes- I said walk 60 miles in three days. And they are going to be camping at night between those 20-mile jaunts.
In the dozen or so years I have known Jennifer she has always been someone I respected. However, this takes my admiration for her to a new level.
It is one thing to join a cause because it came knocking at your door. To enlist in one because it hurt people you love speaks to a person’s character and devotion. But that is what makes Jennifer such a special person.
After seeing many women in her life suffer because of this disease, she decided to fight back. I hate to tell those mutated cells but they have no idea who they have crossed.
Just to take part in the Komen event Jennifer had to raise $2,300. While she has met that goal, having a little extra to give to the cause is now the goal. The funds generated by the walk go towards researching the disease that affects one in every eight women.
Jennifer didn’t take on this challenge for the recognition. In fact, I can promise you that reason doesn’t even make the list. She made the commitment to walk 60 miles in hopes of finding a way to beat a disease that at times has angered her and hurt those she loves.
We all can’t walk 60 miles. But we can follow in Jennifer’s footsteps and make a commitment to support her. The next time you see her let Jennifer know that her efforts will make a difference in this fight. Or better yet- go to www.the3day.org and make a donation in her name.