A few weeks ago I posted about participating in the Boston Congenital Heart Walk with a team from my school, Brandeis University. Well, today was the day!
Five students, including myself, woke up bright and early to help volunteer with setting up in Boston Commons. I looked at the weather before leaving my room, and saw that even though it was only 34 degrees, the high was supposed to hit almost 60. I assumed that being almost May, the temperature would warm up in no time, especially considering the sun was shining without a cloud in the sky, almost too vibrant to be true.
I was deceived. Even after nearly three hours of waiting for the walk to begin, my bones still shivered as though I were standing in a refrigerator and my hands teetered between a state of numbness and pain. From indoors, the day looked as beautiful as a rainbow on top of a waterfall, but in reality, the conditions were less than ideal.
Nonetheless, I still had a great time at the walk! I’d guess that a few hundred people participated. There was a DJ, snacks, balloons, face painting, and of course the walk itself around picturesque Boston Commons. It felt great to support congenital heart defect research and raise awareness. In fact, many passing pedestrians inquired about what the event was about, meaning we helped spread the word to even more people. Since this was the first Boston walk, hopefully more people will come out next year after hearing about the success this year.
Speaking of success, as of today the walk raised over 49,000 dollars! Donations will still be accepted for 3 more weeks, meaning the number will most likely break 50,000! If you’d like to donate, it’s simple. Visit this page to make an online contribution.
Why is it important to support this cause? My motivation to supporting congenital heard defect (CHD) research stems from a close connection to the condition. My oldest sister Becky died at 16 months old from a CHD because the technology at the time (about 33 years ago) couldn’t help her. It is only through research (which is possible only as a result of fundraisers like this) that more advances are made to allow children like Becky the chance to survive today. CHDs are the #1 birth defect and 1 out of every 100 babies is born with a CHD. Even though these numbers are high, funding for research and support is surprisingly low.
After the walk, we were starving. I’d eaten breakfast at 7am, meaning that by the time the walk finished around 12, my stomach was eating itself. Last semester, my friend Emily and I had discovered this great place called Four Burgers right near the Commons and decided it would be the perfect place to satiate our hunger.
Four Burgers is great for groups with a mix of vegans/vegetarians and meat eaters. Their veggie burger is inherently vegan (black bean based) and absolutely delicious and their meat products are as sustainable as meat can get. They only use meat from local, grass-fed, and hormone-free animals.
I ordered a veggie burger on whole wheat with salsa, guacamole, and lettuce on top. I opted not to get fries because I remembered how huge the burgers were the last time I’d come. I didn’t want to spend the money when I knew I couldn’t finish the fries anyway. However, their fries are worth trying if you are particularly hungry. They have both sweet potato and regular, but you can also order a half and half order if craving both (I always want both!).
I apologize that I don’t have a picture of my meal. Every time I go out to eat, I intend to snap a pic before digging in, but as soon as the food comes, I’m so overcome with excitement and hunger that I forget all about it. I usually remember when I have one or two bites left. Oh well. If you want to see what it looks like you will just have to go there for yourself. I’m planning to take my family there for lunch when they come in town for my graduation in a few weeks!