I am the newest member of the team, joining Lauren’s Kids as the executive director in early January. I started the walk on Tuesday, January 17 in the Florida Keys.
How I became part of the group isn’t as important as what I’ve experienced. Yesterday I learned what this is really about. What I expected wasn’t true and what I thought I knew, I didn’t. Yesterday I met survivors. People living not only the burden of their own past, but carrying a torch for the future. Several hundred people arrived at our first stop in Florida City, bright and early, with walking shoes, teal t-shirts and enthusiasm. The biggest privilege of the day was chatting with a teen survivor with cerebral palsy who despite her molestation at the hands of an uncle–and her disability–emphatically expressed that she would walk (for most of the early leg rode in a wheelchair) with everyone else to meet our event at MUJER (www.mujerfla.org) with pride. So unlike a hero, so humble in her mannerisms as many teenagers are today, walked that last stretch with dignity and courage.
This is why we walk.
Cathy Schroeder, Lauren’s Kids Executive Director