Today while most people were still in bed asleep Tiffany-Dian Thomas was putting on her walking gear and getting ready to brave the pre-dawn September morn chill to hit the pavement walking three miles before going to her Bank of America office.
Thomas is not calling attention to herself; quite to the contrary, she is sounding an alarm for woman all over American but particularly she is remembering the life of a beautiful woman that breast cancer took from her five years ago. Tiffany is walking for her mother the poet Gigi Thomas.
Gigi Thomas loved everybody. Her friends were Republicans, Democrats, blacks, whites, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. She did not have an evil or vindictive bone in her body. Gigi did have breast cancer. The breast cancer took her life on January 17, 2009
Gigi Thomas was an expert on friendship. She said in an interview before her untimely death that we must never let go of our friends. “Hold onto your friends because friends are a life line. Friends are boats that sail us safely on, that is why they call them friendships,” she said. Gigi Thomas lived the words of her poetry. She was an artist in the true since of the word. She should never be forgotten.
On January 20, 2009, the family and friends of Gigi Thomas gathered on the grounds of the farm that she loved so dearly to console each other and to do what Gigi asked them not to do: To cry and mourn and share the heartbreak of her being gone. The pain of her passing gave way to the beauty of her life. “She came down to check on her pets and to say she loved her family and then she said she was tired and she was going to rest, her husband remembered. Gigi took her rest and she quietly went to sleep and did go gently into that night.
In a lecture to students in the literature class at Howard University in 1993 Gigi told the students to never hate a single person. “Love is the only thing that will heal. Love is the only thing that will save, love is the essential thing that you need,” she told the adoring students. The video camera captured her words and her smile. It also captured the way she could connect with an audience. Even those people who did not know her could feel a special presence and quality about her.
As the sun rose over her beautiful land on January 20, 2009, those who were present held each other and remembered the remarkable woman who passed away peacefully after sending a newsletter to her friends with thoughts and feelings on the time that she had remaining. The newsletter is a remarkable document because it was her way of saying goodbye as the breast cancer slowly took her life.
Tiffany-Dian Thomas will honor her dear mother’s memory on October 11, 2013, by taking millions of steps in her honor. Regardless of rain, cold, or wind, Tiffany-Dian Thomas will continue of her journey to honor the life of a woman who loved so many and gave so much. The Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk is a wonderful event that will honor and help many women; however, it is understandable that for Tiffany-Dian Thomas the walk will be very personal.
“As a tribute to my mom, Gigi Thomas, Grandmother Kathryn McManus, Aunt Kathryn Rossiter, friend Julie Treuth, Cousin Veronica Davis, and Kara McCoy, women who are either angels or survivors, I will be wearing a scarf with their names during the 3 day walk,” Thomas said.
“Please support me as I take an amazing journey in the fight to end breast cancer! The Susan G. Komen 3-Day? is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds raised by the Komen 3-Day help fund national research and large public health outreach programs. In the US, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. My mom was of those eight. She lost her fight. I not only walk for my mom, Gigi Thomas, but for Nanny (Kathryn McManus), Aunt Kathy (Kathryn Rossiter), my friend Julie Treuth and many other friends and family whose lives have been affected by breast cancer,” Thomas said.
Thomas originally named her team Gigi’s Angels but decided to join the team of Hula Hooping for Hope so together they could join forces to fight breast cancer. She will walk with Hula Hooping for Hope on October 11, 12, and 13, 2013. “We will begin at the Wheaton Plaza in Wheaton, Maryland. There will be cheering stations along the way so that friends, family, and supporters can stand on the sidelines and cheer the walkers on, Thomas said.
Tiffany-Dian Thomas and her Hula Hooping for Hope team will walk for a cure because the American Cancer Society statistics on the number of women who are being attacked by breast cancer every single day is both shocking and alarming. According to the American Cancer Society:
· About 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women
· About 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be found (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
· About 39,620 deaths from breast cancer (women)
“The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 36. Breast cancer death rates have been going down. This is probably the result of finding the cancer earlier and better treatment. Right now there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the United States,” the American Cancer Society said.
The figure was checked at the Library of Congress and is correct. There are about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women. It is time to find a cure.
Examiner.com will follow the progress of Tiffany-Dian Thomas and the Hula Hooping for Hope team. To donate to the cause to fight breast cancer go to: http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2013/WashingtonDCEvent2013?px=6896020&pg=...