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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Have one for Becky....

In 2009 during my second 3-day walk, I drove a sweep van on the route with Amy. I've mentioned what this role is all about before, but for those new to my corner of the internet, here is a quick run down.

You drive a van.
You pick up walkers.
You drop them off.

Drive, rinse, drink some gatoraide, pee in a porta potty, repeat.

It is really common on the first day that walkers will not ride in the van. They see it as some act of "failure". I get it. I felt that way, too the year before. But considering this isn't a race, riding in the van isn't a bad gig.

After all, we have treats and air conditioning!

On the first day of the 2009 walk, we were driving up and down Summit Avenue in St Paul alongside the walkers as they were making their way to the final pit stop for the day. As we were cheering along the walkers, we saw the "thumbs down" sign from two walkers in electric blue & hot pink t-shirts.

We stopped and they got into the van. We asked our typical questions and we got to chatting with the girls. As we drove down the road, we drove past our teammate Dynessa. Dynessa was on the route safety crew and she rode her bike along the route and helped walkers cross busy intersections. We asked her if she was OK and if she wanted a Diet Coke.

"You have Diet Coke?" came a voice from the back of the van.
"Yeah! You want one?"

We gladly handed over a diet coke and dropped her off at the final pit stop.

Later that night while at dinner, our van rider who asked for a diet coke was awarded the "Top Fundraiser" award. She raised over $20,000 for breast cancer.

Her name was Becky.

We ran into Becky all weekend. At pit stops, on the route, back at camp. We told her, "You were holding out on us! We didn't know you were a 3-day celebrity!" On the final day, while at holding, I saw Becky who was asked to carry one of the banners at closing ceremonies. I walked up to her and said, "to me, the 3-day was something we did for our friend Amy. But after meeting you and seeing your spirit, that has changed for all of us. You made my 3-day walk so much better."

She held my face in her hands and said, "And you made my 3-day so much better as well...and not just because you gave me a Diet Coke."

Becky lost her battle with cancer today. She fought hard, too.
Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers during this time.

And have a Diet Coke in her honor.
I know she'd love that.


Caren said...

Thanks for sharing...

Rebecca Jo said...

Oh man... I'm sure her memory will be so felt at the next 3 day event!!!!!

I will lift my Diet Coke in honor of Becky...

Tracy Griffin - Artist said...

Cancer effing sucks.

Hula Girl at Heart said...

I'll raise my Diet Coke glass to Becky...and say a prayer for her family. I hate cancer.

Janice said...

I'm sorry to hear about Becky! I'll be praying for her family and friends.

Totally agree with Tracy!