Who is Jacqueline
In 1999, my family migrated to Portland, Oregon from France, initially for short term career reasons but decided to call it home after falling in deep appreciation of the people and its nature. My origins are in the Basque Country, particularly in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, which is the starting point of the Way of St. James, also known as El Camino Frances. I often reminisce about my summers spent in the Basque mountains during the annual movement of the herds from the mountains to the valleys. My uncle herded cows and when I reached the proper age, allowed me to accompany him on the Way of St. James; this experience taught me the joy of walking in rhythm with the earth, and I hold a profound memory of the many scallop shell symbolism along the path, not knowing its meaning until years later. I have a deep connection to the Camino Frances and plan to start my fundraising project in Saint-Jean-Pied-De-Port, part of the Camino de Santiago.
What Inspired Me
As I embark on a fundraising project to educate young women about breast cancer screening, I find myself reflecting on three extraordinary women who have fueled my enthusiasm for this cause. The first is my remarkable co-worker, Theresa, diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40. She faced the challenges with unwavering courage. Her journey illuminated the critical importance of early detection and inspired me to channel my efforts towards creating awareness. The second woman, Sonja, is a younger soul I met in September diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at the age of 36. (Read more about Sonja’s story here:). Witnessing her fight reinforced the urgency of spreading knowledge about breast cancer screening, particularly among women in their prime. Lastly, my unique roommate, Gwojen, who embarked on the transformative pilgrimage of The Way of St. James, El Camino, shortly after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Her decision to walk this spiritual path reflects an unparalleled spirit of resilience and an unyielding commitment to living life to the fullest. Her journey underscored the significance of holistic well-being and inspired me to contribute to the cause of breast cancer education. United by their stories, these three women have become the driving force behind my dedication to this fundraising project. They have ignited a flame within me to illuminate the path towards a future where breast cancer is detected early, treated effectively, and, ultimately, prevented.
What is the El Camino de Santiago
El Camino de Santiago or “The Way of St. James” is a 476-mile (766-km) pilgrimage across the Iberian Peninsula in support of breast cancer research and outreach.