Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Race for the Cure in NYC

I don't know why I dragged my heels about participating in the Race for the Cure. During the Revlon walk I felt a bit overwhelmed by the crowds, and I was worried this event would be worse. I have not been that involved with Komen in the past, and I have even occasionally cringed at some of the organization's marketing partnerships.

All that being said, they put on a heck of an event. I had a great time, felt included, valued, and inspired. I will be back next year and my goal is to run, baby, run!

I decided to participate foremost to support my friend Darlene. Darlene is a remarkable person, a jewelry designer, and a uber-survivor. Her aggressive stage 4 Her2+ breast cancer has gobbled up much of her body, she has endured bone and joint replacements, along with ongoing treatments. She always looks beautiful, dates, and gets about NYC. I complain about my physical aches and pains all the time, Darlene does not. She truly celebrates life. It wasn't comfortable for her walking all those miles early in the morning but she did it. So go Darlene!

The best moment was when heard a squad of cheerleaders rooting for Team DarStar. It felt like something out of a movie.

After walking with Darlene and her friends for 2 miles, I decided to challenge myself to pick up my pace. I even ended up jogging the last 1/3 of a mile, and that is when they snapped the photo. I can't wait to see it. The event has a special start slot for survivor/runners and next year I would really like to be one of them. To be honest cancer has taken away a lot of my ability to do some of my old recreational activities like social dancing, so I look forward to having a new challenge.

I even made it to the opening survivor ceremony. Compared to the Revlon walk I felt like the survivors were really valued and cared for at this event, with plenty of food and beverages and just a friendly encouraging vibe.

I got to chat with celebrity spokesperson Gabrielle Union, who could not have been more down-to-earth. She spoke quite movingly of her friend's five year battle with cancer, and how this was the first year she would be walking in her friend's memory.

Not to go all US Weekly, but I really think Gabrielle may be the prettiest movie star of her generation. I'm not one to have my picture taken with celebrities, because who looks good standing next to a covergirl, but I made an exception.

I give Komen a lot of credit, the event was not just about raising funds, it was really about raising hope. I want to be back there next year, stronger and healthier. In fact I can't wait.

Here is the link to Komen's Web site for the NYC race.


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