Why is Carol Boman participating in the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness three-day walks for her 15th consecutive year? “So that my grandchildren never have to hear that they have breast cancer,” she says emphatically.
Every year, Susan G. Komen hosts seven walks across the nation, each crisscrossing downtowns and neighborhoods for three straight days to raise funds toward the organization’s “Big Bold Goal” of cutting U.S. breast cancer deaths in half by 2026 — bold, indeed. Carol has completed at least one walk per year since 2004; this year, for the second year in a row, Carol will complete all seven walks, visiting seven cities for a 60-mile walk in each (that’s 420 miles total!), and catching up with friends from previous walks along the way.
“You’re never walking by yourself.”
Walking 60 miles over three days is no small feat, and Carol's been training for months. As a member of the tax team, much of her year’s work takes place prior to April 15, so her schedule becomes more flexible following Tax Day. That flexibility helps her squeeze in all the training she needs to stay safe on the walks. “It also helps that my team is there for me,” she says.
Not only does walking 420 miles in 21 days require intense training, but it also requires intense fundraising. For every walk, Carol will have to raise $2,300, or $16,100 total, to participate. In Carol’s first year participating, she started with just one walk, but after raising more than the required $2,300, she figured she might as well keep fundraising, and she earned herself spots in more walks. The more spots she earned, the more walks she did, and the more determined she got.
The first time Carol did more than one walk in a year, she decided to go to Dallas because a client told her she’d be there. They became fast friends over those three days, and they still keep in touch. That’s what makes the walks so special to Carol — they provide the opportunity to connect and bond over making a real difference. Every year, she sees old friends on the walks and makes new ones. As Carol says, “You’re never walking by yourself.”She also uses the walks as an opportunity to spend time with her family. Her daughters have joined her for the last several years, and when they’re not walking with her, her family often works the “crew,” serving refreshments to walkers along the way and offering support.
Carol started doing the three-day walks 15 years ago just looking for a way to give back, but once she got started, her passion blossomed. “We all know somebody who’s been touched by breast cancer,” Carol says, “And once you start doing the walks, you meet more and more people who have been affected by it.”
According to Carol, each walk is filled with so much fun, so much emotion and a million reasons to do it all again next year. She was one of just 11 people to participate in all seven walks in 2018, and she can't wait for the 2019 events to begin.