Friday, June 26, 2009

My first {walk} post.

Jenn DOOLEY here.  Not to be confused with Jenn LATINO.  

This is my very first New Kids on the Walk post.  I have another blog that I write in {almost} daily.  But have not yet ventured over here.

To be quite honest, I have been a little nervous about posting here.  I don't know quite what to write.  I should probably give a little background on me and this event in my first post, right? Here goes:

I walked in the 3 Day last year. I did it to honor my Grams, who died 5 years before due to Breast Cancer.  I walked alone.  But with 3500 other women and men who were stepping out for the same cause.  It was a very powerful, very emotional journey.  Those 60 miles were difficult.  But through the support of my family, friends, donors and fellow walkers - I made it through.  I signed up again.  Just  a month or so after the walk.  I knew that I wanted to be part of  that experience again.  Something so powerful.

My husband (Stu) and my son (Michael) were with me every step of the way.  They were at every cheering station along the walk. They bought me Icy Hot and blister band-aids.  They made me signs.  They gave me hugs.  For one of my training walks, I walked 15 miles on my treadmill.  On a Saturday.  Michael was there to cheer me along.  To tell me to keep going.  To bring me water when I needed it.  I called him my little trainer.  He was proud of that title.

On April 9th,  just 11 weeks ago, I was told something that no mother should ever hear.  We did everything for your son ... but he didn't make it.  My sweet Michael died due to complications from his congenital heart defect.  In short, his little 9 year old heart gave out.

To say that I am devastated isn't enough. I am heartbroken.  I am sad.  I am lost.

I thought that I wouldn't do this walk again.  That I couldn't do this walk again.  Michael was with me every step of the way last year.  He was such a huge part of my experience.  I couldn't imagine doing it without him.  He wanted to complete the walk with me when he was older.  

And now he can't.
But I can.

I am going to participate in this walk.  I imagine that Michael will be with me at every step of the way this year as well.   I made a promise to do it.  And we don't take lightly the breaking of promises in our house.

So I am in.  It will be hard.  I will cry.  I will talk of quitting.  But I am determined to push forward.  For my Michael.  For my Grams.  And for me.

I am so glad to have teammates this year ... with both old friends (Kim) and new friends (Jenn Latino and Meredith).  I have two friends in Tallahassee that have also signed up (and will hopefully join our team as well).  This experience will be different.  And I am glad for friends to help me along the way.

Congrats team on your training and fundraising thus far.  Awesome stuff.


  1. I'm so glad you are here!! We will be stepping out together-with Michael at our side. I can't wait!

  2. You are the bravest person I know. Welcome to the blog! Sending love.

  3. Jenn- I don't know you, but I had to write. You will walk tall, proud, and with your little man by your side all the way. You will be surrounded by your sisters- you may not know them, but as you know at these walks everyone is connected. You will find yourself crying, smiling, comforted, angry and laughing. I wish you well in your journey and keep walking!