Guest Post by Nidhi Mehta
I am thankful to Ananya Kiran for inviting me to do this guest post. It is a privilege to share my story, my journey, what motivates me, what keeps me going with so many readers.
I am a Mother, a Wife, a Daughter, a Sister, a Friend, a Professional but above all I am a strong, empathetic and loving woman. A woman who is independent, A woman who dreams and converts those dreams into reality, A woman who wants to change the world, A woman who believes that leading by example is what is needed to make a difference. I decided to take this journey of walking and raising awareness about Breast Cancer because I could, I can and I will. The day I decided to do my first 60 Mile/3 day walk 4 years back for the cure for breast cancer, I was determined as well as nervous about the challenge(walking 60 miles in 3 days is not easy), and I was very emotional(beyond words). Finally I could see that God has chosen a path for me, a path which will make me and others happy, a path my father took, a path my grandfather(he was a freedom fighter) took, I was just destined to carry that legacy. The legacy to keep the world going, to think about others before thinking about ourselves, to do something for human kind. Finally I associated myself to a goal not to people or materialistic things. Finally I found my calling, the reason for me to be in this world. I cannot thank God, my parents, my family enough for making me who I am today and for standing beside me on every step of mine.
I did my first walk in September, 2012 in Seattle. That weekend I accomplished something BIGGER than myself! I walked every single mile of the 60 miles (official, unofficially 74 Miles). Going into the walk, I was nervous, anxious, happy and scared at the same time, since I didn't train much (only 5 training walks, ranging from 10 to 17 miles in 3 months). But Thanks to my team and my biggest support, my husband, and my strong will power, I knew in my heart I can do this. Thank to my friends and family, all the supporters, crew that cheered me along for a WONDERFUL and REWARDING 3 day that I will never forget as a "Virgin Walker." I met so many new people, I met some amazing souls and heard so many inspiring stories. I came back home with a heart full of memories. And the night I came back from my 3 day walking spree, I signed up for the walk for 2013.
I haven’t stopped yet. This year I am doing my 4th walk. In between I have tried to raise awareness about breast cancer to my friends and family in India and US. In India it is still a taboo to talk about breast cancer, I don’t recall if my mom, aunts, or cousins ever went for a mammogram. But things are changing, I have explained to them about the process, have reminded them to do a monthly check up by themselves and even convinced some of those to go for a mammogram but it is still a work in progress. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel though.
By my walking, I have also inspired many of my friends and acquaintances to stay fit and healthy and some of my friends have even joined me for the 3 day walk. That is a big achievement for me. I think I am succeeding in what I want to do.
Not many know that I broke my leg really badly 9 years back, and I have a titanium rod inside my leg as there was no way for the doctors to fix my leg, so they drilled my knee and put a rod inside my bone(Tibia). It’s not a big deal but yes 60 miles is hard for me, as my knee starts popping after the strenuous walks up hill on some of the routes but it is nothing in comparison to those who go through the pain, the chemotherapy and the emotional and mental trauma while fighting this disease.
While I walk, I raise money for Susan G Komen foundation, which is a force united by a promise to end breast cancer by funding groundbreaking research, community health & advocacy programs globally. Susan G Komen provides education, supports research, offers grants that provide financial and emotional assistance and advocate for better breast cancer policy. But in a broader sense, they empower others, ensure quality care for all, and invest in science to find the cures.
Every walker that walks the 60miles/3day walk has to raise minimum $2300, which is not a small amount. I get a lot of donation from my friends and supporters but I cannot expect that from them year after year. I wanted to do something to raise more awareness about breast cancer as well as raise funds, and decided to organize an event, which can bring the women together, bring the awareness, lay down the importance of fitness in a fun and energetic environment and that’s how “DANCE IN PINK” happened. The event is open to both men and women, as not many people know that men get breast cancer also.
This is my fourth year doing this event. From last 3 years, it has been a sold out event. I thank almighty, my family, my friends, and my committed supporters for always standing by me when I put this event together. I have fabulous instructors who volunteer their time and bring so much energy on the stage. The 3 hours event is full of music, dance fitness and fun. This event is very close to my heart, because I love the energy, passion, commitment, and generosity everyone offers.
I walk for my family and friends, I walk for my moms and aunts in India, I walk for my sisters and cousins, I walk for every girl on this planet, and I walk for the daughter I don't have.
This is my journey and through this small effort of mine, I want to create awareness about this cruel disease and raise funds to support research and generate medical help for those who cannot afford it.
Together we can and will make a difference one day and No act of kindness is big or small.
WALKING for the CURE
Committed 3 Day walker. 60 Miles. 3 Days.
Committed 3 Day walker. 60 Miles. 3 Days.
Walking 4th time in 2015. Are you with me?
If you want to support my efforts, please donate via the following link –
or Join me for the walk