The sun stretches herself slowly ray by ray, much like the walkers preparing for their 23km (Vallai to Doraiappa Playground) walk, the soft breeze greets you good morning and we start walking. After an hour or so passes by, the walk has a way of bringing you to a point where we suddenly find ourselves really trying to dissect this thing called cancer and how unity really might be the answer. Where does this unspoken sense of overwhelming support from people we’ve never ever met before come from? Why is this such an amazing feeling? Where would us Sri Lankans be, if every day were to feel like this? No difference in creed, ethnicity or religion. Just an outpour of love for one another as a people.

The early morning greeting.

It all stems from making a choice to live by (in this case walk with) a particular type of thinking- positive thinking. We all know putting out positive vibes brings you the same in return. It’s when our minds genuinely smile at everyone, without judgement and ill mannerisms. That feeling is what we’ve got to hang on to. And it turns out that it’s that very feeling that may well be the catalyst to beating even cancer.

A few handsome donors.

We heard so many stories on the walk about this. Of how a person’s mindset really influences the healing process. It’s not just about getting chemo or radiation therapy. It’s also about being open as a person, as a family and as a nation to completely eliminate judgement and stigma. Whether it’s a person who has gained weight, is light or dark, all the way to a person who may have even temporarily lost their hair. Let’s not judge.

A beautiful shop owner reading the Trail Cancer Awareness brochure we shared.

Because when we stop doing that; suddenly the entire world becomes an incredible world to live in. It becomes an incredible country to call our home. It makes the journey much lighter for everyone. That’s what the walk evokes. Those are the emotions we need to hang on to and never forget. More importantly, people on the walk who’ve beaten cancer or supported their loved ones in this way has shared these tools and insights. So why not learn from them? This way if ever we encounter this dreaded disease in any shape or form; the least we can all do is give it our best shot, with a Sri Lankan smile on our faces.

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