Friday, May 23, 2008

Gearing up for the Race....

Breast cancer is a cause near and dear to my heart. I lost a great-aunt to complications from breast cancer back in the late 70s. I also lost a very dear friend from high school just a couple of years ago. On the flip side, my dad's sister is a 17-year-plus survivor.

Early detection saves lives. It really is that simple.

A little further about the high school friend. Long-time readers already know the story. Tee was like a sister to me in those days. But our early adult lives veered in different directions -- she was a wife and stay-at-home mom, while I was "career girl" (such as it was). We started only keeping in touch if we ran into each other (or ran into the parents) in the grocery store or Wal-Mart.

When I heard she'd been diagnosed, I was floored. And I had no idea how to approach her or all those years we'd gone without being part of each others' lives. So I took the chicken approach -- I did nothing. No flowers, no card, no nothing. I didn't know what to say, so I didn't say anything.

I prayed -- I prayed for her. I put her name in our prayer book at church. I thought of her often. But it wasn't enough. Tee passed away just a few weeks short of turning 37. She left behind two teenage kids and a husband, plus parents who were now burying yet another child (her brother had died a few years earlier).

I was angry -- mostly at myself, but I was also truly angry at cancer. I hate cancer of all kinds to begin with, but having the family connections to the disease really make me hate breast cancer. This made me want to do something about it. I could never bring my friend back, and it's hard for me to forgive myself for not doing more when she was alive. I have to do what I can now.

This is my 2nd year to take part in the Upstate SC Race for the Cure. Last year, my walk time in the 5K was 1:06:34. I intend this year to come in at under an hour. And for the 2nd year, I'm the team captain for our corporate team. And I am on the race committee as "Sleep-In For The Cure" coordinator.

If you are so inclined, I would love to have you assist me with a donation. You can do it online by going to my RFTC fundraising page; you will receive an e-mail confirmation and tax receipt immediately. No amount is too small -- I promise -- and every dollar is greatly appreciated!

No comments: