In loving memory of SPC Leticia Diaz Walborg, I walked 16 miles on Saturday.  (Sorry Eric, I was trying for 24, but didn’t make it…no excuses!)  I was touched again and again thinking about the journey of a young woman who was dedicated to the U.S. military, whose husband was on military assignment while she bore and raised two children and then was faced with a breast cancer diagnosis.  I thought of the times I have felt heavy burdens and am certain that Lety carried an enormous burden.

With family and friends helping to carry the burden, she began her treatment regimen at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to get the best treatment available, even if it was a 6–7-hour drive away from her home.  Her father-in-law, Dr. Earl Walborg had been a cancer research scientist at MD Anderson Cancer Center for many years.  Her mother-in-law Mary Ann stayed with the kids during Lety’s treatments. When Eric could be, he was with Lety at treatments and with the kids. This is a shining example of sharing the load, letting family and friends help carry the burden.  Yesterday, Eric shared the story of the positivity that Lety demonstrated and the influence she had on all children who wanted to be near her and share their stories with her.  She clearly has left a legacy of love, of nurturing, of strength and endurance and a beautiful family, Nathaniel, Ruth, and Eric, who will continue to carry her love and strength throughout their lives.

It is this legacy of love, caring, and sharing that allows those impacted by cancer to survive from day to day on a difficulty journey.  This is the legacy that CSCAZ tries to emulate through the belief that Community is Stronger than Cancer and No One Should Face Cancer Alone and the five pillars of support groups, education, healthy lifestyles, social connections and community, resources, and referrals.  This is sharing the burden of cancer.

Today, Sunday, August 13, 2023, I walk in honor of, celebration of, and memory of all those past, present, and future CSCAZ participants who have allowed CSCAZ to walk alongside them during their cancer journey.  Thank you for sharing this privilege with us.  Thank you for sharing your burden with us.  Thank you for prioritizing your psychosocial health and for working to develop healthy lifestyle habits.  Let us know how we can best support you and your loved ones along the journey.  That’s why we are here.  Today I walk for you.