WHY I RACE?…… 30 years ago a promise was made between Susan G. Komen founder Nancy Brinker and her sister Susan to end breast cancer forever. Nancy races to fulfill that promise. During the 2010 Race fundraising season, we will share inspiring stories from survivors and co-survivors about their breast cancer journey and reveal how they responded to the question, WHY I RACE?
I race because of this huge, loving, inspiring club of fellow survivors!
In 2009, I participated in the Susan G. Komen Austin Race for the Cure to honor my children’s stepmother who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. Her diagnosis was shocking and felt tragic to us, driving home the concept that it can happen to anyone. It inspired me to get health insurance, which as a self- employed person is not the easiest thing to do. But at least I didn’t have cancer.
Six months later, I felt something in my breast and had a strange feeling. No, there was no way I could have breast cancer, not me! I also had breast pain, googled it, and self-diagnosed a hormonal cystic fibroid. Whew! Nevertheless, at 42 years old I had never had a mammogram, so I scheduled a regular check up and was sent for a mammogram.
After viewing the mammogram the doctor sent me for a biopsy that day! It was a Friday and I had to wait over the weekend for the results. I remember thinking that I didn’t want my life to change, but it did when the phone call came. Getting the call that I had breast cancer was a call I will never forget. It is impossible news. What about my kids, my plans, my breasts, my money, my happiness? What was going to happen to all of that?
I found that inside of us there is an amazing strength to do what we need to do when life throws us challenges. I told my family and friends, I made my appointments; I put on pretty clothes and makeup. I took action. Taking action is a powerful tool.
Due to various circumstances, what was originally planned as a lumpectomy became a bilateral mastectomy. I started chemotherapy on August 10th. I am amazed daily how happy I am. What originally felt like a tragedy has actually helped me be happier than I have ever been. The gifts I received since my diagnosis are immeasurable. Words from strangers on my blog, casual acquaintances offering help, reuniting with old friends I haven’t seen in a long time, phone calls from survivors I have never met, and of course the huge love and support from those close to me. Generosity is abundant and it makes me happy and strong, and I cannot wait to pass it on.
I thought I was a tough and strong, but now I KNOW I am tough and strong. Yet I have also learned to yield, ask for help and accept help. That has been my biggest lesson; strength does not mean that I have to do it all by myself.
Breast cancer sucks, and the frequency of its diagnosis is shocking. It’s physically and emotionally challenging, but in some odd way we are lucky. We are part of a huge, loving, and inspiring club. I am thrilled to be able to race at the 2010 Austin Race for the Cure, along with my fellow warriors, those that are survivors, and those that support us all.
3 ½ month survivor
Follow Nanette's fight against breast cancer at http://glittereveryday.blogspot.com/.
If you are moved by these stories, and want to send us your answer to “Why I Race?”, we would love to hear from you. The stories will be posted on the Komen Austin website for others to be inspired by your journey and generous fundraising efforts that help so many in this community. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more stories here.
How does your participation IMPACT the global movement to end breast cancer forever?
The Komen Austin Race for the Cure is our largest fundraiser. Your registration fee covers the cost of putting on the Race. The money raised by participants allows us to fulfill the Komen mission.
On average only 20% of participants raise funds each year. However, if each of us commit to a minimum of $125, which is the cost of a mammogram, we would be able to give more than $2.6 MILLION to local breast programs, and to research for the cures.
Fundraising: Easy as 1 - 2 - 3!
After you register, consider these three easy fundraising opportunities:
1. Take the 125 Challenge. Save a life by purchasing a mammogram!
2. Use our Fundraising Toolkit. Take our ideas and run with them!
3. Reap the benefits. Earn great prizes as you fundraise!
Learn about these opportunities and so much more by visiting www.komenaustin.org.
As a reminder please log in with your current information below:
...to treat yourself to a massage as you train for the Austin Race for the Cure! Simply call your local Massage Envy and make an appointment for a $49, one-hour massage on September 14th. Massage Envy will donate $15 per massage to the Austin Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Visit www.massageenvy.com for more information or to find a location nearest you!