In the three years that I’ve known one of my best friends, Jackie Landes, I have come to be more and more proud of her.
Upon first meeting her, you can tell she is enthusiastic and has a contagious zest for life that is unparalleled, but when you spend a bit more time with her, you learn that there is a lot more to this beautiful girl than meets the eye. She is deep, caring, hardworking and funny! Our friendship formed quickly, just after a few conversations and the realization that we had so much in common, cancer affecting us in one way or another happened to be one of them.
Three years ago, my roommate and I went to the first Wendy Walk that was held in Miami to support Jackie and her siblings, Matt and Ali, in their effort to fund research and find a cure for their mom’s rare cancer, Liposarcoma. It was a beautiful sunny day on Hibiscus Island, and we walked amongst a couple hundred caring people. Each year since hundreds more have showed up, donated, supported, and helped to raise awareness at a national level. To date, the walks have raised over 1 million dollars to fund research on Liposarcoma. A proud friend doesn’t give justice to what I feel about Jackie.
Wendy passed away in March 2013 after a 5 year battle against this terrible disease, and seeing Jackie lose the person she loved most in life has been extremely difficult. In the few conversations I was lucky enough to share with Wendy, I learned that she was powerful, loving, caring, and above all , Jackie’s mom. She loved Jackie and her family with all of her heart, and that love will never stop.
The NYC Wendy Walk that followed Miami’s was a huge success, as I’m sure the Los Angeles walk (this Sunday!) will be also. Jackie, Matt, and Ali have committed to finding a cure for this disease and urge those willing to help support and spread awareness too.
Here are a few photos and a video of the events that were the Miami Wendy Walk 2013.
Learn more or Donate at http://www.wendywalk.com