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Saturday, September 25, 2010

DAY 13: Race for the Cure

ZTA girls working the survivor tent
The only problem with Race for the Cure is that I am an emotional wreck the entire time.  I swear I teared up about 50 times today.  At the survivor tent, the survivor parade and opening ceremonies, the start line and the finish line...and even in between while I was running.  I had the honor of volunteering with my ZTA Alum chapter at the survivor tent before and after I ran the 5K myself.  We had to be there at 6am but it was worth it!  We handed out bright pink survivor hats and backpacks filled with goodies for the ladies. (and a few men survivors!)  They were so appreciative of our efforts, but considering what they have been through and how many people's lives this disease affects, I really wish I could do more!

I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it was to see these people face to face.  They were all so happy and proud!  Each time I talked to a survivor and she told me how many years she has been cancer free, I teared up and we all cheered.  Each time I read a shirt or a sign that was in memory of someone, I teared up.  Today was about celebrating life, love and hope. I really saw how cancer affects people of all ages, shapes and colors.  Several women I saw in the survivor tent looked younger than me.   I hurt my foot last week on my training walk, so I wasn't sure if I was going to actually run today.  After I spoke with one women who was A WEEK out of surgery or many who were still going through their treatment...I decided to get my butt out there and run!  It really puts things in perspective when you see the hope in the survivor's smiles.  They have been through a tough battle and came out a stronger people because of it.

I ran today for my Grandma Lewis who lost her battle in 1991.  I ran today for my step-grandmother and other family members who have  battled this disease.  I ran today for my friend Natalie who can now call herself a survivor!  And I ran for the survivors  I met today, for the ones I haven't met and for the ones who will have to battle breast cancer in the future.

The start line!  
When I registered for Race for the Cure Chicago, they had an option to buy a pink ribbon in memory of a loved one who lost their battle.  I of course bought one to commemorate my grandmother and I really feel like she was there with me today.  I imagined what it would be like if she were one of the survivors enjoying the day in the tent, and what it would be like to still have her in my life.  The cutest lady came straight up to me and proudly said she was diagnosed in November of 1988 and has been cancer free since.  That was around the same time my grandmother was diagnosed.  I feel like it was a little message sent to me from my grandmother...that she will always be in my life. :)

In memory of Gloria Alanis Lewis, my grandmother

1 comment:

carissajade said...

I read this the other day on my phone and couldn't comment. I read it again just now and I'm bawling again!!!!

I'm so glad you did this!
I'm definitely going to get involved with this, it sounds like such a moving experience!