I have a challenging and enjoyable job and great friends. Everyone I know and love is healthy. Life couldn't be better. I definitely do not take any of this for granted and I am grateful every day, realizing that so many do not enjoy the gifts with which I have been blessed. That recognition leads me to find ways to raise public awareness and participation in causes that help those who are less fortunate than I am.
Today on Soul in Stilettos, I introduce you all to The Wendy Walk. A wonderful organization dedicated to raising awareness of Sarcoma Cancer and funding research into this terrible disease. The Wendy Walk annually hosts several walks, in different cities in the US. The walks raise the funds so necessary for the research that will, hopefully, one day, lead to a cure.
This year’s Miami Wendy Walk takes place next Sunday, April 12th.
I'm so happy to be able to share more information on this important cause and spread the word to my friends who follow Soul in Stillettos.
Scroll down to learn more about the Wendy Walk and how you can be apart of it.
WW: The Wendy Walk was founded in 2010 by my dear friends Ali, Matt and Jackie Landes, in an effort to help try and save their mom's life in her battle with Liposarcoma. This disease is an aggressive cancer of the connective tissue. The Wendy Walk raises funds and awareness for rare sarcomas through its nationwide events. The Wendy Walk has four major events in the spring: Walks in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Park City bring friend, neighbors, students, and communities together working toward a common goal. So far, these walks have raised over 2.1 million dollars for research.
In March, 2013, Wendy Landes passed away, but the walks continue to honor her memory and help all of those affected by this rare cancer.
SIS: The Wendy Walk was created to support Liposarcoma. Can you explain what Liposarcoma is and how it affects the people who are diagnosed with it?
WW: Wendy Walk has grown to become a fund raising hub not just for Liposarcoma research, but all sarcomas.
A sarcoma is a cancer of the connective tissues, including nerves, muscles, and bones. Sarcomas can occuranywhere in the body and are frequently hidden deep in the limbs. They are often misdiagnosed -- assumed to be sports injuries or benign bumps. Sarcomas are rare tumors, comprising less than 1% of adults’ cancers and nearly 21% of children’s cancers. While delay in diagnosis and treatment and although sarcomas can be aggressive and difficult to treat, people can survive sarcoma. Awareness of the potential that a perceived injury or benign bump really can be more serious allows for prompt diagnosis and treatment – and hence, a greater survival rate.
SIS: The Wendy Walk was created in 2010. Has it grown?
WW: Wendy Walk has seen phenomenal growth since 2010. It has transformed from one local walk by a small group of friends and family of Wendy Landes in the Pacific Palisades, to now a nation-wide community for sarcoma survivors. We now have hundreds of families around the country who come to Wendy Walk for strength and support. Not only do we have our walks in Miami, NYC, and LA; we also have a walk in Park City as well as smaller satellite events around the country including spin events in Boston, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. We have grown from just finding Liposarcoma research to funding research grants for other rare sarcomas include Ewing’s Sarcoma, Synovial Sarcoma, and Leimosarcoma.
WW: The greatest help is to donate money and time and to attend our events. If you are unable to attend, but would still like to donate or contribute please “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, donate on www.wendywalk.org or the sign up links at the end of the article.
SIS: Where and how often are the walks held?
WW: We are kicking off our 2015 walk season here in Miami Beach! We are walking on Palm Island Park (on Palm and Hibiscus islands) Sunday, April 12th starting at 10:30 AM. The following Sunday, the 19th, we are walking from The Harmonie Club in New York City. We are then moving our efforts cross-country to Los Angeles on Sunday, April 26th on the beach in Santa Monica. Coming into the fall we will have a hike in Park City, Utah in September. We also hold monthly events such as spin classes at Flywheel and Soul Cycle, exclusively benefiting Wendy Walk, as well as quarterly shopping days at Calypso Bal Harbour.
SIS: What do you like most about working for this organization?
WW: I have been working with Wendy Walk since my freshman year of college (2011) and have enjoyed it more and more as the organization has grown. My mother is a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor and I have used Wendy Walk as a coping tool to fight for other daughters and sons of cancer patients so that no one else has to see their mom battle this horrible disease.
WW: Wendy Walk has contributed an incredible amount of positivity and hope into my own life, and I only hope that others affected by sarcoma and rare cancers can say the same. Our goal is to become a hub for all sarcomas and orphan cancers and it sure seems to be happening. Personally, I hope for more attendance than ever at our Miami walk. Last year we had around 600 walkers, this year I would like to see 800.
SIS: What’s it like participating in the Wendy Walk? Why should people be excited to walk?
WW: Wendy Walk shows that life with an orphan??? cancer still can be filled with hope and positivity, and with continued support even medical miracles. The walks are incredibly social for all age groups and a wonderful way to stay active and healthy - all while saving lives. The Wendy Walk provides hope, strength and comfort to those fighting rare sarcomas. In response to the isolation and hardships that unavoidably accompany rare cancers, The Wendy Walk works to promote compassion, empathy, positivity, and most importantly a sense of community to demonstrate that individuals and families affected by orphan cancers can still maintain a life of joy, athletic activity and connection. The Wendy Walk continues to promote Wendy's motto which was "I am not my Scans."
SIS: How can people donate to this cause?
WW: To sign up for the Miami walk, click HERE