By Sarah Oxford
5:30 am. It was pitch black. I rubbed my eyes and looked into a U-Haul truck filled with water bottles, tables, banners and everything imaginable that is needed to host a WALK event. Volunteers, organized by task, scurried to prepare for the event. “We LOVE WALK and Phyllis is SO organized!” said Marty, who is responsible for registration. Sarah, a college senior, strapped her walkie-talkie to her hip and said, “It’s nice to meet you, but I have to get started with decorations! I’m so excited!”
The wind howled, banners fluttered and smiles gleamed as the sun rose. WALK-day fever had hit and I was welcomed into the hydrocephalus family in the Denver area. I walked down the first 100 yards of the path. To my left and right stood two- by three-foot posters with pictures of WALK participants who live with hydrocephalus. On this day, the people represented in these posters are the Most Valuable Person to their family and friends. Everyone there – all 400+ participants – walk in honor of someone in the hydrocephalus family.
The high school marching band members played their drums and horns to kick off the event. Walkers cheered! Some held hands and others ran. Excitement bubbled all around. The shunt representatives and the local medical professionals all explained how attending walks makes their jobs come to life. I felt completely the same way.
With more than $32,000 raised, Denver walkers can go home knowing that they made a difference in helping others face the challenges of living with hydrocephalus, as well as helping the Hydrocephalus Association fund important research. With more than 400 walkers, they can be certain that they are not alone in this fight.
Thank you Denver participants for your hospitality and determination! See you next year!