The 5K season has begun, and since many people in my family have unfortunately been affected by many illnesses, I feel like I need to participate in many of the beneficiary races.
To me, it is a small way that I am giving back to my family members who have battled (and are battling) far worse of things than being out of breath or out of shape in a race.
When my friend Lindsay suggested that we do the Revlon Breast Cancer 5K in Manhattan on April 30, I said to sign me up! My maternal Grandmother immediately comes to mind when I think of Breast cancer. She had been diagnosed in her 50’s, had a mastectomy on one side and was cancer free until she was then diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 90. She passed away on May 28, 2000 after unknowingly battling the disease for 2 years. We decided not to tell her because she wouldn’t have been able to endure the treatments and she probably would have given up because of her age and her diagnosis, which was 3 months tops.
My father died after a courageous battle with lung cancer on March 28, 1992, my mother is battling recurring Stage 4 Cervical cancer, my uncle has and is fighting Multiple Myeloma, and amidst other family members, there is a collection of heart disease, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, and various eye diseases. It sounds like such a mess, but believe it or not, many of us are very healthy and have lived long and illness free lives.
Last year, my sisters, Chris, Jared and I participated in a 5K for the American Cancer Society and donned shirts in honor of my mother and in memory of my father. The feeling of being united to do our part to fight a disease that hurts us to the core felt empowering. I felt like that with each step, I punched, jabbed and kicked cancer where it hurts the most. I felt as if we were taking a stand as if to say that we are sick of people suffering through this and that cancer backed down a bit after seeing our courage.
In a few weeks, Chris, Jack, Colleen, Jared, Lindsay, Mark and baby Greg will all be standing up to Breast Cancer in the Revlon 5K on April 30. I look forward to fighting cancer where it hurts most and hopefully doing my part so that other families won’t ever have to go through what my sisters and I have been through. No one should have to see their parents, sisters, brothers or family members suffer through this awful disease. We will stand for those who are undergoing chemotherapy and are too weak to stand for themselves. We will be courageous and powerful. We will help to fight and cure cancer.