I was reading about the founder of the breast cancer charity Walk the Walk who started the flagship event MoonWalk London. This is a very inspirational story that I hope will provide some comfort to anyone going through a bad time, and show that good can come out of the darkest of times. You can find beauty after tragedy.
Walk the Walk founder, Nina Barough, started the charity after having a very vivid dream that she was walking the New York Marathon in her bra in order to raise money for breast cancer related charities. After mentioning it to a few friends who said they would join her, she decided to make her dream a reality. In November 1996, Nina and 12 of her friends power walked the New York Marathon and raised £25,000 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Two months later, Nina found a small lump in her breast whilst taking a shower. Devastatingly, doctors confirmed it was a tumour and that it was an aggressive cancer requiring surgery to have her breast removed followed by radiotherapy. Friends wanted to support Nina and suggested repeating the bra walk at the London Marathon. Nina walked with her friends in April 1997 just days before her operation.
Nina really struggled to come to terms with losing a breast despite the reconstructive surgery, but thankfully she found the walking empowering so she continued with the annual walk. Nina approached Playtex, the bra manufacturer, for sponsorship, and they offered her a place to work out of their head office. It was there that Nina met Guy, who later became her husband.
Nina was unable to secure enough places at the London Marathon the following year, so it was then that she came up with the idea of an overnight walk from midnight until dawn. From that point on, it has become a permanent fixture with 15,000 walkers taking part each year. Over the years, they have raised over £114 million funding major projects, including research into the causes of breast cancer and building the world’s first breast tissue bank.
Nina found beauty after tragedy. She said that if she had not had cancer, she might not have started the charity and raised millions of pounds, or met her husband and had their daughter. What a truly inspirational woman and an amazing story.
This year the London MoonWalk takes place on 13 May 2017.
I am dedicating this post to a very dear friend of mine, who too found beauty after tragedy.