05/08/2011 11:13 am ET Updated Jul 08, 2011

Why I Walk

My mom and I participated in the annual Entertainment Industry Foundation Revlon Run/Walk for Women in honor of our family members afflicted with breast cancer and for all women who bravely fight this battle. We walked proudly in the hope that one day a cure will be found.

Four days after that walk, my mother was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. I was devastated. My whole world came to a crashing halt. I knew the statistics, and I knew my family history. A wave of overwhelming concern rushed over me as I suddenly realized that in spite of my mother's strength, her feisty personality and her amazing spirit -- she may not make it. But just as quickly as those thoughts crossed my mind, so did the realization that such thoughts would not help either of us get through this.

For most of us, it isn't until we become adults that we come to understand how much our mothers have done for us, how they always put us first and have our best interest at heart. Throughout my life, my mother has always been my biggest champion. She encouraged me to pursue my dreams, gave me the confidence to overcome every obstacle and held my hand through every one of life's harder moments. My mother is my constant, my best friend. When she was diagnosed with cancer I suddenly became the caregiver. I accepted that role with all of my heart -- though, at times, I felt that in spite of my best efforts I'd never be able to bring her as much comfort as she'd brought me throughout the years, because there is nothing comparable to a mother's love.

The thought of losing her was unbearable, but I pulled from an inner strength I can only attribute to the extraordinary way my mother raised me. Together we chose doctors, and I stood by her through all of her treatments, helping her in any way that I could. During her mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, my mother never stopped being a mother, putting me first and trying to make sure that I was ok. This horrible experience brought us closer as we united against it and promised ourselves we would beat it. I've always had an appreciation and admiration for my mother and watching her fight back against cancer only deepened that appreciation and admiration even more.

The following Mother's Day, we participated in the Run/Walk. That event took on an added significance since my mother was now walking as a survivor, who has been cancer free for more than two years. Every Mother's Day going forward, I count my blessings. This year, approximately 207,090 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and another 39,840 women will lose their lives. Those numbers are too high. When I hear them, I'm painfully reminded that my mother could have been one of those somber statistics.

So this Mother's Day weekend, I will participate in the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women on behalf of my mom. She unfortunately broke her leg recently and is unable to participate. And believe me, she's not happy about it. This event means more to her now than ever. I am proud to represent her and stand with thousands of participants as we raise funds for life saving research and valuable services that could help bring an end to cancer once and for all.

To learn how you can get involved, please visit EIF's Revlon Run/Walk for Women.