Almost a year ago to the day, Kathy Wakile blogged about paying it forward -- in her case, doing good for others following a life-threatening brain tumor that her daughter Victoria was diagnosed with. Thankfully for Victoria and the Wakile family, the tumor was benign and successfully removed, but for the thousands of others suffering from brain tumors, the Wakiles are doing everything they can to raise awareness and money for research.
Kathy, Victoria and the Wakile clan laced up their walking shoes for the second annual New York Brain Tumor Walk on Governor's Island last weekend, and along with all of the other participants, nearly $500,000 was raised towards brain tumor research. In her blog this week, Kathy reflected on the walk, saying: "On Saturday my daughter and I led the walk for the National Brain Tumor Society. Among those walking were families that lost their loved ones to brain tumors, others were walking and living everyday with their tumors. There were others that are fortunate like my daughter, Victoria, who are brain tumor survivors and thrivers. We shared our stories and cried and hugged one another. That is what is truly important in this world, human connection. I’m proud to say that this year serving as honorary chair of the 2nd Annual Brain Tumor Walk NYC, we had over 1,850 participants, a 50% increase from last year, and we raised $455,000 so far and are expected to reach $500,000 by the time the tallies are complete for research towards finding a cure. That’s a great increase from last year’s $320,000."
Continuing the emotional post, Kathy says that her involvement with the NBTS began when a viewer named Jay Helms -- who has volunteered "endless hours" with the organization -- reached out to Kathy via Twitter. "After working together the past several months, Jay has become part of our family. Great things can come from reality TV. This is honestly one of the things I am most proud of -- when you open up and share your stories."
Want to help? See if there's a brain tumor walk coming to your city, and you can donate to the cause at braintumor.org.