June 18, 2006

Komen Race for the Cure

Yesterday I joined the Puget Sound Komen Race for the Cure (along with 15,000 others). My wonderful sponsors helped me raise $1385 towards the anticipated goal of $1.5 million.

What a walk! The energy of such a large crowd is tangible. Upon arriving, we turned in my sponsorship checks, got our t-shirts and proceeded to the stadium floor. At least 25 corporate sponsors had set up tents to sample their products. In a crowd of mostly women, this meant an opportunity to get tchatchkes galore. Magnets, key chains, mini first aid kits, cereal, plastic cups, a cool scarf – you can see the rest in the photo. And of course everything is in shades of pink.

The walk itself was somewhat uneventful. Two years ago I did the 5K walk and was too pooped afterwards to enjoy the survivors’ parade. Last year Mom went with me and we hung out at the stadium drinking coffee. But this year Shira, Kathy and I did the 1-mile walk, and in the words of Goldilocks, “It was just right!” We chatted nonstop and felt as though we had strolled around the block. Afterwards we went back to the stadium for coffee, a second breakfast and some more sampling.

I participated in the survivors’ parade in the 6-10 year range. Too bad Komen didn’t offer a special section for women living with metastatic disease. I found I really missed the “other Jill.” We had walked together last year and she gave Mom and I a ride home after the walk. Jill died just a few weeks ago, and so I walked to honor her memory and that of my paternal grandmother, who also died from metastatic breast cancer. Jill left a husband and small daughter as well as a large extended family.

I did find several friends in the survivors’ parade and we exchanged hugs and greetings on the field, danced to the Gloria Gaynor recording of “I Will Survive,” and generally celebrated the fact that we are still here.

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