The “Battle to Save the Boobies”, A.K.A. Komen Race for the Cure, was run in Ocean City, Maryland for the second year in a row this morning. Unlike last year, this race day was beautiful, crisp morning air, clear sunshine with the race route offering a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean.
The “BAKED” team included myself, my husband, my sister Shelly her children George and Stevie and my daughter Sophia. We ran the race in celebration of our mother, Shirley, who is a breast cancer survivor. In large part, our Mom’s healing and recovery were directly related to her religious monthly self exams, annual mammograms and regular check ups which allowed her cancer to be detected at a Stage I. Because of early detection, her medical team was able to excise her tumor without need for chemotherapy or radiation. Thank God, our mother has been cancer free now for almost 5 years.
Unfortunately, not everyone’s breast cancer story has as happy an ending. Our dear friend Suzie, who also chaired this years Komen Race, lost both her mother and aunt to this deadly disease. Suzy has turned her heartbreak into a heartfelt passion to be part of finding a cure for breast cancer in honor of her loved ones and so other’s hope for survival is realized. I am so very proud of her and grateful for her efforts, in addition to her team of volunteers who tirelessly work to make events like these successful….raising money for research and increasing public awareness regarding prevention is critical.
As you can imagine, our emotions were running pretty high to start and then we began the race alongside of a woman who had just finished her chemotherapy regimen two weeks prior. She was slight of frame, had no hair and was visibly struggling to keep pace. She stayed with us the whole way, sometimes we slowed down, sometimes she ran faster to catch up. We were so honored and inspired to cross the finish line with her! Her broad smile and sense of humor in spite of her circumstances was simply amazing. Her courage and stamina, her will to defy and survive incredible!
This “warrior” of a woman was a bold reminder that the “Battle to Save the Boobies” is just that, a battle. It’s a battle that too many women face. It’s a battle that requires our support, one that is desperate for reinforcements, foot soldiers, state of the art weaponry. It’s a battle that requires we all be educated about the enemy so that one day very soon, we can prevent, conquer and cure breast cancer.