2nd Annual KAT-Walk 2010

Yesterday, the 2nd Annual KAT-Walkwas held on the Back Cove in Portland. A 3 1/2 mile walk to remember Kim Tudor and to raise awareness of the causes and symptoms of brain aneurysms, as well as raise money for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.

Many people worked many months bringing all the elements together for a wonderful day. There was a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, and we sold t-shirts. The final numbers haven’t been tallied yet, but to Kim’s family members and close friends, I feel it was a huge success.mThere was also a very special article about Kim that was written and printed in the Friday issue of The Portland Press Herald. Many people commented on the article and how special it was. I completely agree.

We were also able to get some local television coverage, which was unexpected and surprisingly wonderful as well.mThe camera crew and reporter interviewed Dave, then hung around to film the event and stayed for the start of the walk. Thank you WGME and Channel 13 for doing this for us and thank you Ray Smart, for speaking with them to give us some coverage. Here is the Video.

The crew was there covering the ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) walk that was also happening on the Back Cove earlier in the day. We saw their piece on the ALS walk on the news as well and it was wonderful. Their event was highly attended and looked like they had a professional crew to handle the event. Another very worthy cause to bring attention to and the Channel 13 piece had a very moving and emotional tribute to one local soldier who was battling ALS, but was able to complete the walk. KUDOS to you!

On a personal note for me, I was able to spend the day and meet three other ruptured brain aneurysm survivors. Two I met that day, but one, Julie from NH, I had met online at the Brain Talk message board shortly after my rupture. We share three major things in common:

1) Our ruptures were treated at Maine Medical Center,
2) Dr. Eddie Kwan performed our coiling procedures, and

I was thrilled Julie and her husband came over to participate in the walk and to also help raise awareness. Julie is still suffering complications from her rupture and well as other medical issues so I was doubly pleased she made the effort to be there and lend her support.

Another young woman came to the walk who had suffered a rupture but wasn’t quite sure where to turn locally. Hopefully, we were able to direct her to where she could get some comfort and assistance and hopefully we were able to educate those who aren’t aware of the symptoms, so that if anyone in their family, our themselves for that matter, exhibit any of those symptoms, they’ll take them serious and seek medical
assistance immediately.

I hung around the Brain Aneurysm Foundation tent we had set up to help sell t-shirts and offer any information that I could to people who were curious. A woman from Orono, Maine, Gail Bickford, came down for the event and helped man the tent. She is not only a ruptured brain aneurysm survivor, but a cancer survivor. Some would say a walking miracle…and she DID walk! After Julie and I did our 1/2 of the walk, we came back to the tent to relieve Gail and then Gail proceeded to make the entire 3 1/2 trek. I was very proud of her and thrilled she did it. Certainly put ME to shame, but I did the best I could.

At the end of the day, Dave and I felt the walk was a success. We may not have had a professional event staff to man our walk, or a professional fund raising committee to plan and arrange the printing, donations and everything else, but I think that’s why our walk was so special. Everything that was done and everything that was created, was all very, very personal and done by Kim’s close friends and family, not my others
who didn’t know anything about her or aneurysms. As we said last year and this year, what we lacked in quantity, we more than made up for with quality and I know Kim would have been very pleased and proud of the work everyone did and the turn out. We think she was there in the form of the gale-force winds that popped up right there on the water! LOL Dave thinks it was Kim getting back at him for all of the scary sailboat rides he used to take her on.

God Bless you Kimmie and we’ll never forget you.

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