On Saturday I participated in the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, in Raleigh. I did the 5K recreational run. The day started out with temperatures in the 70's, and the air was muggy. It was a good day. The Five Kilometers (~3 miles) turned into 6 miles when we added the walk from the Lincolnville AME Church van to the buses provided at the RBC Center, plus the walk from the drop off at the rear of Meredith College to the start of the race on Hillsborough Street...and back.
The course took us east on Hillsborough Street, then into the neighborhood north of Hillsborough. The neighbors were out on their porches or lawns, cheering us on. Many had their sprinklers turned to the street so that we could get a little bit of a cooling off. There were cheering teams at every turn, and water stations at each mile post. The Lincolnville YPD finish much ahead of us Senior citizens.
When people talk about breast cancer "survivors," they typically refer to people who have had breast cancer, have been through treatment, and are still alive to talk about it. There were many such survivors participating in the race. Some were in the competitive run, some in the recreational run, and we passed a few sitting on the porch in the neighborhood we passed.
I call myself a survivor in another sense. My mother died of breast cancer when I was twelve years old. I survived getting through life, motherless, making many decisions on my own. Some good decisions, some bad decisions, but I survived.
In those days, people talked only in whispers about cancer. It was as if you could catch it just by saying the word. Treatment was limited to radical mastectomy and radiation. We have come a long way in early detection and treatment. I ran on Saturday in memory of my mother, Georgia Gordon.
The books are not closed yet on the fundraising for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. You can still donate by clicking here.
Where do the funds go?
• 75% of net funds are invested locally to fund education, screening and treatment programs.
• 25% of net funds are dedicated to research and finding the cure(s) for breast cancer.
• Last year, with the help of our supporters, more than 40,000 North Carolinians were directly impacted by Komen NC Triangle community health grants.