On Monday, June 22nd (Jackson’s birthday) Anna will begin her journey, walking from, Burlington, Iowa to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. On Friday, June 26th, as Anna is finishing her walk, she is welcoming anyone and everyone to join for the final 3 miles of her walk. The designated meet up to participate will be at the Johnson County Fairgrounds at 4:30 PM, and the group will arrive at UIHC around 6:00 PM. If anyone will be unable to meet and walk with Anna from the fairgrounds, it is highly encouraged to welcome her at the UIHC at 6:00 PM. Enjoy this special Humans of DM post as you will get to know a little more about Anna and why she has decided to Walk in honor of Jackson!
With making this magnificent journey, what is your main goal for the outcome?
My goal for the outcome for The WALK is to most of all raise awareness for childhood cancer. I am obviously doing this to honor Jackson and the hard work that he did and the beautiful life he had but I am also wanting to encourage people who have never had to deal with cancer especially in a child they know to join the conversation of how to make childhood cancer awareness more of an important issue in the United States. They say children are the future, lets prove it by providing children with cancer the financial backing, research, treatments, and a CURE! I want people to be able to go into a store and buy merchandise that the proceeds will go to childhood cancer just like they can now for breast cancer awareness. During and after the walk I want people to get inspired. If not just for childhood cancer but to care for other human beings, have greater hope, do more good,& do the right thing. I want people to be inspired by Jacksons strength and countless children like him and have their role models and heroes be kids!
Have you encouraged others to participate? Do you hope this concept trends with other families in order to spread awareness?
I have encouraged people to walk with me or just be involved. Whether it is helping me plan, ideas, donating, walking, or striking up conversations about the walk, I want people to be engaged about a great cause. I am a little nervous because this is the first time I have ever done anything like this but my hope is that this becomes something bigger and next year and the years after more people join!
How mentally and physically have you prepared to make this trip?
I am not sure if there is any way to be mentally prepared for a venture like this especially under the circumstances for which it began. I knew that I had to do something this summer because a lot of “anniversaries” and dates revolving around Jackson, his life, and his cancer journey will be held this season. Jacksons birthday is June 22, the start date of the walk and June 26th is the start date of his cancer journey and the last day of my walk. I am prepared to have rough moments and times that I do not think I can make it but that is when I hope I can find strength. I hope to remember Jackson lying in bed and working diligently to hold on and those memories should help me carry on just like they do any other day since he has passed.
Physically I have been walking and training for about two months. I try to get at least one walk in every day. While making my walk to Iowa City I plan on walking 5-6 miles than take a break and then continue on with another 5-6 miles until I reach my daily goal. While I walk now, I pray to Jackson and talk to him, I am sure there will be a lot of that going on next week! One of my favorite training walks was to go visit Jackson at his gravesite. We live in Burlington, Ia and he is buried across the Mississippi River about 8 miles. That walk was on Mothers Day and it gave me a wonderful focus to walk to. This walk to Iowa City has provided me with a great focus and a great cause and I can not wait to make this venture for Jackson, Dance Marathon and FTK!
Thank You and God Bless