The story of An
At the end of October 2021, An Denis from Belgium wil be walking from Bilbao to Santander, a part of the Camino, the trail to Compostella. She is not doing this without a good reason. Just like the Pelgrims were walking these trails ages ago for religious reasons, An has got her own motivation.
More than 5 years ago An was diagnosed with breastcancer, which had a huge impact on her young family and herself. As An is closing this chapter, although she believes to be a fellow sufferer for life, she wants to look back on this periode. To An, walking the Camino, is a moment of reflection, taking time for yourself.
Breastcancer has changed a lot for An, you start living differently, you look at things in another perspective, she says. You can’t be bothered by banal things and you see how small things can make a difference. That’s why An has decided to link a fundraising for Think Pink Europe to her Camino adventure. You can’t do enough, she emphasizes.
The Corona Pandemic made fundraising a bit more challanging. Not knowing when she was going to be able to travel to Spain, not being able to meet other people, made it difficult for An to share her story. You need those peolple who know your story, who share this with others, who support you. An is very happy that her family, together with friends ane collegues are behind her and help her in raising funds for Think Pink Europe.
Facebook is also an important tool to reach people, An sais. She created a Facebook group at the time when she was getting treatment against breast cancer, to keep in touch with everyone. Now she is sharing her Camino adventure with those same people. But she is also happy to be able to meet people in real life again and organise things like her cookie sale.
Origanally An’s idea was to walk her Camino alone, but that plan has changed. During the Covid periode she did a lot of walking, often with her family, but also with a friend. That’s when the idea grew to go on this adventure together. And what they do as preperation, walking mainly, they haven’t tried out the back packs yet, she laughs.
They did spend quite some time preparing the routes and finding accomodation. This time of the year not all hostels and other facilities are still open, so that needed some attention. An chooses not to walk the last part of the camino in to Compostella. She prefers a more quiet part of the route, to her it is about the journey, being on your way, not about the finish.