October is a special month for several reasons. It is the month of the Chicago Marathon, my favorite Marathon. It is also the month my mother passed away October 27th 2008. The day my heart took her last breathe. In my mother’s memory I have been raising money for breast cancer for years.
I did my first Susan G Komen fun walk in 2004. It was the 1-mile walk. It is what motivated me to start running again. After the fun walk, I started going to the track. I would run one lap, then walk one lap I worked my way up to running a mile. I gradually worked my way up to running a 5k. In 2006 I did my first fundraising effort with Susan G Komen in honor of my mother and others who were fighting the battle and those who had passed on. Those like my Aunt Estella who is a breast cancer survivor. Those like my fellow Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University (FAMU) alumnus and sorors Lawanda Renee Henry, and Patricia Sherfield Polite who passed earlier this year. With the help of my friends, family, co-workers, and some complete strangers I have raised over $26, 0000 for breast cancer/ cancer research.
This year I was to run Chicago Marathon for American Cancer Society. My goal was $5,000. My requirement was only $1500, but I aim high and more money means more funds to help people, and more money for research. I started my quest to raise my funds. Again, I am so thankful for those who donate to my cause every year, but deep down I feel bad for soliciting funds every year. I feel like I am “bleeding people dry”, but I know that the cause is worthy. NO one should lose a love one to cancer, so I continue my quest. This year was bitter sweet, I had no problem raising my minimal, but during the early part of my training my feet were bothering me. I had been plagued by a nagging injury on and off for a year. I later found out that I had a stress fracture in one of my feet, and could not run the race. Initially I was devastated. Not only could I run my favorite race in honor of my parents who both had cancer. My mom died from breast cancer, and my and from lung cancer. I felt like I was letting people down who had donated to the cause.
One of my good friends explained that the money I raised would still help people, and they would understand. I thought about it, and related it to cancer patients. In life there are things that are out of our control but we deal with the hand that we are given. We fight, we may fall down, but we get back up. We continue to fight no matter what.
I will get back up, and next year I will run Chicago Marathon for Team Determination. I hope to have my faithful supporters behind me. Together we all are stronger. So today seven years after my mother passed from breast cancer I will continue the fight for her. I have hope; cancer does not win.
I encourage all my female family, and friends to do monthly breast check, and get yearly mammograms. Early detection does save lives.