On Saturday, May 11th, Mother's Day weekend, thousands of participants joined in the 11th Annual Meagan's Walk and created a "circle of hope" around SickKids.
Waiting at Fort York for the 5 km. walk to begin, participants were encouraged to reflect on a simple question while they walked: why do you walk?
Families, friends, school teams, work colleagues, researchers, doctors and social workers- an array of supporters, walking with spirit and determination, knowing that each one of us can take a step and can do something to make a difference for those children, and their families, who live with the challenge of a serious illness.
For some the reason to walk was personal and immediate. The long stream of Meagan's Walk participants who walked through the Toronto streets that morning included children who live with brain tumours, surrounded by their families and friends who form a caring circle of much needed love and encouragement. Others walked in memory of someone they loved and missed very much. All honoured the message of hope and shared a desire to foster change, to improve outcomes for all the other little children who struggle with illness.
Meagan's Walk culminated at SickKids where everyone joined hands and "hugged" the hospital. It was a sun filled and warm spring day. Some young patients came outside, to be part of the circle of hope, while others in hospital garb, remained inside, faces pressed up to the windows, waving down to their Meagan's Walk supporters.
To date, with the support of a caring community, Meagan's Walk has contributed more than $2.7 million to brain tumour research at SickKids. Research that is truly helping us move one step closer to a cure.