Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Goal Reached

On April 17, I will be walking and running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. As you know, I've been training to become a runner. Initially, my goal was to run it. At least most of it. I'd be 8 weeks into my training and should be able to run a good amount of it. But I'm not doing the Race so that I can run. I'm doing it to show solidarity with other women, to promote awareness of women's health issues, to raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, to remember those who have lost their battle, and to celebrate those who are fighitng and who have fought and won their own breast cancer battles. I have to admit- I don't have a lot of cancer close to me. From what I know of my genes, my family medical history is relatively breast cancer free. I've had friends who knew someone affected by breast cancer. I've worked with people who have had breast cancer. But breast cancer hasn't really impacted my life directly. Until this past summer. I'm part of a local online community for moms. I've been part of it since the beginning and, soon after joining, became part of the staff as a Discussion Leader. Some members come and go. Some members stay around. Some are moms that I really respect and admire. Some have very similar viewpoints and experiences to my own and some are vastly different. One of those moms who was almost always on the opposite side of an argument from me was Michele. We weren't friends but we knew each other. And I'd heard through other mom friends that she truly did live her Christian values- she would give you the shirt off her back. In April or May, she shared with us that she had cancer. The same day that she shared her diagnosis of breast cancer, Jeff and I had an impromptu date. We went bowling and then played putt-putt. I should have known that my life was about to change dramatically... that God was about to step in and push me beyond my comfort levels. There was a woman and boy in front of us. We started chatting and it turned out that this was Michele's sister and son. At the end of June, Michele's fight crashed. She was hospitalized. She was in a coma. Friends of the family kept us, on the message board, up to date. No one knew what to do. We had seen moms lose a husband, even lose a child. But we hadn't lost one of us. We started organizing to bring meals to her family at the hospital. I work near the hospital and offered to meet moms in the church's chapel so we could pray together. My second day doing that, the 3 of us decided to go upstairs to see Michele and her family. That was the decision that changed my life. We met her husband, her parents, her sister, their pastor. There was a lot of crying and hugging. Michele was not awake or alert. The connection had been made. It was clear that our purpose was to lift up this family as they faced and went through the most impossible situation they'd faced- the loss of this mommy. The moms came together again for the funeral. None of us were there to intrude- we all made ourselves available to take care of each other and, most importantly, Michele's family. We brought food and ran to the store to buy more food. We made sack lunches to send on the 2 hour drive to the cemetary. Everything was done with love and compassion. It was amazing to see what these moms could do when they came together. I've stayed connected to Michele's sister and husband. Our moms came together to bring Christmas to the family. For several months after her death, our moms continued to give money to a fund we had set up. There were auctions and fundraisers organized by the moms. Things eventually quieted- but we are all ready to jump to action if Tim says the word. Fast forward to now. The online community has participated in the Indianapolis Race for the Cure every year for at least 5 years now. I've never done it. Remember the top of the post? Breast cancer hadn't impacted me so it really just wasn't on my radar. But this year... now it's different. Now I know a dad who is struggling to parent 4 children- including children with special needs. Now I know a sister who doesn't have her best friend to call every day. Now I know a mother who had to bury her child. So this year, I will walk with Tim and with our moms. Some of our moms are survivors. Some have been affected by cancer stealing away a parent or sibling. Some are there simply because they are passionate about the cause. Some of us will walk and some will run and some will walk and run. All of us are trying to raise money. Yesterday, with a donation showing her support of my choosing to walk, Michele's sister made a donation that pushed me past my fundraising goal. A large donation was made by my friend Lori on behalf of her and her husband's company, True Adventure. They are the people that Jeff works with on that dungeon thing he does at that gaming convention in Indianapolis each summer. I have a check from my father in law that I will deposit and give on his behalf. Even though I have surpassed the fundraising goal, I want to do better. I want to do more. For Michele and for others like her. So if you can, would you please consider donating even a small amount? $5, $25, $10. Any and every amount helps. Click on the button at the top of this post or in my sidebar to go to my Race for the Cure page and make a donation. E-mail me and I will hook you up with my Paypal information or you can even mail me a check like my friend Julie- who I lost touch with after junior high- did. Thank you. Photobucket


Candy said...

I found your blog through Mim's blog. It's great that you're doing the Race for the Cure. My husband and I are going to walk in it, too. It's on May 1st here.

I've enjoyed my visit to your blog - very upbeat.

noexcuses said...


What an incredible post for me to read today! You have inspired me to get involved with our race in June! God Bless you!

A friend just lost her battle a few weeks ago, and her network of moms is taking care of the family, just as you have done. What a blessing!

Thank you! Great post!

Jason, as himself said...


Way to go on reaching your goal! No matter who you are, sooner or later your live will be significantly impacted by breast cancer. I can't help but thinking with so many people doing so much for this cause a cure MUST be around the corner.

Your event is coming right up! Mine isn't until November, so I've got a while, but I'm looking forward to it so much.