Teenage boys aren’t always known for wanting to spend time with their moms, but Dylan Graff isn’t your average 13 year old boy. Dylan is spending his upcoming 14th birthday on October 16th walking in the 2016 Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer with his mom, Kim.
In 2010, Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer- Dylan was 7 at the time. Kim had a single mastectomy and was going through 8 rounds of chemo every other week. The entire Graff family stepped up to help Kim make it through her treatments. Her husband Joe took her to every appointment, sitting with her the entire time. Because of his young age, Dylan was deeply affected by his mom’s experience. When she was too sick to get out of bed, her older son Hunter would help Dylan get up, ready for school, and get them both on the bus. “Dylan was my biggest cheerleader,” says Kim, “and when the situation would overwhelm him and get him down, Hunter would cheer him up so he could get back to cheering me on.”
Kim finished her last round of chemo in November, 2011. Her friend Darlene Perales told her about the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer, a 2 day, 30 mile endurance walk that raises money exclusively for breast health and breast cancer programs in Georgia. Darlene introduced her to Katie Barkley, who leads a 2-Day Walking Team called Breasta Fiesta. Kim signed up, laced up her sneakers, and started training for the 2012 Atlanta 2-Day Walk. She’s been participating in the 2-Day Walk ever since.
Dylan has always wanted to walk with his mother, and on Sunday, October 16th, he’ll be old enough to finally join her for the last 10 miles of her 30 mile journey. Dylan has already raised $500 for the walk, and plans to keep trying to raise money all the way up until he takes his first steps on the 16th. Defying teenage stereotypes and using his birthday to help others, Dylan Graff is a testament to the adage that it is truly better to give than receive.