First and foremost, thank you to everyone who supported me in the Race for the Cure this year and in years past. Your kindness and generosity are astounding, and I am humbled.
The topic of breast cancer is near and dear to me. The disease is near, well, because I’ve had it and am in remission, and the fight against it is dear to me because I would love for all the little girls growing up now to never have to worry about such things. How great would that be?
Each year the Race for the Cure seems to take on a slightly varied meaning for me, and this year was no different. I walked in memory of my brother-in-law’s mother who was lost to breast cancer too many years ago. Even though I never met her, I was honored to wear Carron’s name and bring her into this beautiful, pink army against breast cancer.
As always, I arrived in good spirits. Truth be told, I was giggling at myself for kindly, and pointedly, explaining that my VIP parking pass was never provided to me when the parking attendant asked me to turn my map over. It read “VIP Parking Pass.” Ha!
Laughing is entirely appropriate because the Race for the Cure is an opportunity to celebrate the fact that we are alive. There is music, there are concession stands, a sea of people, and there is an infectious, upbeat vibe. Yet every year when we actually begin walking, and I start reading the “In Celebration of” and “In Memory of” signs on the backs of thousands of people, I get choked up. I am overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, fear, gratitude, guilt, and hope.
Whether my friends notice how quiet I am for the first minute or two, I’m not sure, but it’s because I am on the verge of tears. If I speak, I will cry. I think of those who were not as fortunate as me, those whose battles have been long and painful, and the loved ones left behind. I give myself a minute to process that load of emotions, and I have the self-talk. Kelly, get it together–this is a glorious day. And then I walk.
Thank you for understanding why I walk, for supporting me with your generous and thoughtful donations, your well-wishes and prayers, and for walking with me. It truly means the world to me.