The bright pink fingernails did their job. Midway through an interview with Town Planner Lisa Bourbonnais last week, I realized that she was wearing very pink nail polish. This on a woman who isn't the nail-polish type. So I bit.
"What's with the pink nails?"
It turns out that Bourbonnais is planning to participate in a Susan G. Komen "3 Day for a Cure" walk in Tampa, Fl., Oct. 21-23. Participants pledge to raise at least $2,300. For that, they get the opportunity to walk 60 miles over three days, sleeping the two nights on the ground in pink tents.
"It's just so fun," said Bourbonnais.
And she means it. This will be her fifth 3-Day. She decided to do the first one, in Boston in 2007, after learning of her cousin's breast cancer diagnosis. Caroline, her cousin, lives in Nashville and Bourbonnais said she felt frustrated that she couldn't help her.
"What am I going to do here in Rhode Island," she recalled thinking. She heard about the Komen walk and decided to do it.
"I met some wonderful people who would not let me quit," she said. And Caroline walks now too.
"The second year she walked with me and she walked every step," Bourbonnais said. Not surprisingly, it's an emotional three days. "People are walking for people who can't walk themselves."
She and her cousin have done the walk twice in Boston, once in Washington D.C. and once in Atlanta. Now, Tampa. There are 14 3-Day's planned around the country for 2012.
By the end of the three days, said Bourbonnais, she's exhausted, physically and emotionally. But it feels really good, too.
At the closing ceremonies, she said, everyone holds up their shoes to honor the survivors who gather in the middle of the crowd.
"It’s always a great moment."
If you'd like to donate to Lisa's walk, visit her webpage here (the feet in the picture are hers - blisters and all!). If you are interested in learning more about the 3-Day, visit Susan G. Komen 3 Day For A Cure.