Why I Care Walk: Empowered to Make a Difference
Erin Dean’s Story:
Erin got involved in Care Walk in 2012 because her husband, who has beta thalassemia major, had recently faced some challenges. “I knew that at the very least, participating in the Walk could be a small gesture of support and recognition for everything he and our family had been through. Given that we felt so powerless facing these challenges, it was something small that I COULD do; then it became something that I simply had to do. If I were able to raise a little bit of money for the Foundation, then I would be channeling some of that negative energy into something positive and proactive.”
Erin found two things absolutely “amazing” about her first Care Walk experience: “being able to do something positive to fight thalassemia and discovering how people really, sincerely want to help. By participating in the Care Walk, you become EMPOWERED. Whether a family member or a patient, you are able to fight right back. And when people become mobilized and motivated in this way: Watch out! We become a force to be reckoned with. We can do anything, and we can certainly get closer to a cure!”
“I love that the Care Walk is not location-specific,” Erin explains. “This allows people to rally around the person they are supporting, regardless of where they live or how many people they walk with. Last year, our team consisted of a contingent in New York City and a contingent in Atlanta. We walked at the same time on the same day, as did all the other teams. The pictures rolling in that day from around the country and posted on the CAF Facebook page were really amazing.
“I also love how the Care Walk brings spreading awareness and fundraising to a grassroots and personal level. In the age of social media and the internet, the Care Walk allows participants to easily connect with their networks of friends and family anywhere, whenever they can find a moment.”
When asked about challenges, Erin says that “one challenge for some might be opening up and spreading the word. I credit my husband with helping us overcome this challenge. He allowed us to be open and to tell people about his condition. This is a very personal matter and understandably difficult, but he knew that the end result of being able to share would be a positive one. He helped give us a very important perspective – the patient’s – and kept our tone and focus all about working toward a positive future.”
Erin encourages everyone to try to participate in a Care Walk, no matter on what level. “ANYTHING that you do is SO much more than would have been accomplished if you do nothing.
“Can you imagine what could be done if every person in this country with thalassemia participated? THAT could truly change things!”
If you’re not involved in a Care Walk yet, you can register yourself at http://bit.ly/carewalk2018.