17 Feb The Quest Toward a Cure – please follow my JOURNEY
As many people have seen this logo in stores, on pamphlets and as a HUGE billboard on the JGH building – it has become an annual event at the end of August where people of all fitness levels, living with cancer, fighting the good fight or walking in remembrance of a loved one! My decision to walk is twofold; first, I have lost too many people that have meant a lot to me to women’s cancers (and other types) and so it was time I put my anger toward this dreaded disease and channel it into something tangible and help in the quest to find a cure. A little more about that later…
Second, I had decided that it was also time I got fit. Although I have found different ways to try and exercise it was never something I had committed to 100% like I should; couple that with my desire to help find a cure, I made the commitment to walk in this incredible weekend. Being physically fit can help to strengthen my chances of eliminating the odds of getting certain types of cancers, although sadly many of the women that I know who lost their fight were fit. At least I would give my body a fighting chance should I get the dreaded diagnosis.
Challenge 1 – it has been probably a year since I was last truly active (other than running after 2 children) and that is very hard for me to admit to myself, let alone to an entire audience reading this blog. But is my truth and something I need to face and overcome. It was time to put away my anxieties about getting physically fit and put my heart and soul into it!
Challenge 2 – the Weekend requires a minimum pledge of $2,000 and I must do all my own fundraising! Scary?! Yes, to me asking people for money is beyond my realm of comfort but I know without soliciting the funds, I will not meet my goal and will disappoint not only myself, but this great cause. So, without further ado, I ask that should you be so inclined to help in my journey to kindly get in touch with me to learn how you can sponsor my walk.
Now that I have gotten all that uncomfortable talk out of the way, let’s head back to my initial reason for wanting to do this 60 KM walk. My mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer for the first time in 1997. It came as a complete and utter shock to her and our entire family. How was this possible? We did not have any family history (that we knew of, since many perished in the holocaust) and she was an otherwise healthy woman. Being the person that I am, I wanted to learn everything I could about this…and so I began asking many questions to her surgeon and oncologist. They were helpful from a clinical standpoint but from an emotional perspective I needed more. My determination to get my mother well was really what made me deal with her illness. Thanks to quick treatment and a very curable form of breast cancer, my mother was CURED within only a couple of months of diagnosis. Thank G-D! Fast forward to one of the most incredible times in my life, I found out I was pregnant with my first child in April 2010 and within 2 weeks of that elation, we got devastating news…my mother was once again going to fight breast cancer. I am pleased to say that this diagnosis was quick to be resolved and my mom was cured once again just in time for the birth of my daughter!
Over the past several years, I have lost a few women that have meant a lot to me and have been informed of new diagnoses of women that I admire tremendously. One woman however that profoundly impacted me was my husband’s mentor, manager and sister-like figure. I won’t go into too many details about her diagnosis, but Catherine lost her battle Feb. 13, 2014. It is still a shock to think that we lost her one year ago. This was a woman with so much life, joy, kindness, intelligence, moral fortitude and grace that it seems particularly cruel that she was taken away from us far too soon. My daughter fondly called her “Auntie Caffy” as she could not say Catherine and she was the only one who could get away with calling her “Cathy” is any form. This woman fought so hard to beat the cruel and unforgiving cancer, but now she is with the angels. Her spirit is with us and is what propels me forward when I am struggling to get things done, like the training for this walk.
I hope that you will follow my journey to the WALK and read all about my struggles and triumphs. If there is one other thing I urge is that we be vigilant about our health; love life as though we may lose it tomorrow and never take those around us for granted!
Stay tuned for more…