On Saturday Dani and I took the kids to our local Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure event. I have two aunts that are afflicted with breast cancer and it is a cause that is very personal to my entire family. My aunts, uncles and cousins have been attending since my first aunt was diagnosed more than seven years ago and for one reason or another I hadn’t been able to attend until this year.
When we walked in I was overwhelmed, not only with the shear amount of participants, but also with the emotion that each one brought with them. Almost everyone there was either a survivor themselves or was walking/running in support of one. Sadly, there were others that were there in memory of someone they’d lost to breast cancer.
It was a pretty emotional environment, but I was happy to see that most of it was positive. Even those that were there in memory of a loved one seemed to be celebrating the memory. They were walking with purpose, but they were doing it with a smile. I’m a believer in the benefits of a positive state-of-mind when it comes to battling anything, especially illness, so I have to also believe that these types of attitudes helped others like my aunts, who are both in the process of receiving treatments.
Dani ran with my cousins and I walked with the kids and my aunts. Gianna insisted that I hold her. Have you ever carried a 25 lb. child for 3.2 miles? There were women whose bodies are filled with cancer and they were running the entire way, and I’m complaining about carrying my child. My 25-pound child.
But without sounding too cheesy, there were moments where I could have forced her into the stroller or taken a shortcut or sat down to rest, but I found the determination of all the women who were there that day, and the loss of all those that couldn’t be there to be too inspiring to do anything but push through. If they could put up with the pain, discomfort and the fear of uncertainty every single day, I could suck it up for an hour.
[As a sidebar, when Dani was a little girl, my father-in-law carried her throughout Disney World for their entire vacation. My wife was 6, maybe 7. I’m willing to bet she weighed more than 25 lbs. Still, if Dani had been the one carrying G for the race, I’d write it off to karma and be done. But what did I do to deserve that? Mom, that’s a hypothetical question, no need to comment.]
Now, back to the real purpose of this post. Most of my topics on this blog in some way relate to a lesson that I want my children to learn. Something that I would really love to teach them because I think it’s important to know if they’re to be people of good character. Often, these lessons serve to remind me of those important traits and focus on them in my own life, helping to make me a better person.
This is one of those lessons.
They didn’t cure breast cancer on Saturday. They probably didn’t raise enough money that day to do it anytime in the really near future. But I know that if the scientists that have sought opportunities to research and fight cancer continue on with the same determination as I saw in so many brave, strong-minded women on Saturday, we will see a cure. And soon.
G wouldn’t let me quit when I wanted to stop carrying her, and we can’t quit on our moms. And grandmothers. And sisters. And my aunts.
[I know that there are hundreds of worthy causes out there and I also know that someone is always asking for something, but I want to at least post the link to my mother’s donations page on the Susan G. Komen website. If you feel inclined, please click here to donate.]