Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mother's Day Race for the Cure


Sunday is the big day, the 5k Susan Komen Mother’s Day Race for the Cure. The Mall of America welcomes over 50,000 people to this annual event to celebrate life and to support finding a cure for breast cancer.

I’ll be wearing my pink hat with three stickers on it, celebrating 3 years cancer free. This year I’m attempting for the first time the 5K run; in my case run/walk. I may be the last one in, but I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be wearing my favorite QuikWik Leggings , and layering up in Junonia as the start at 7:30 a.m. will be chilly!

In past years, my family and friends did the walk with me, and it was amazing. The streams of people, which consisted of a wide variety of men, women, and children, were a stark reminder of how many lives are touched by this disease. Many had remembrances pinned to their tees for family members currently struggling with breast cancer or loved ones who were struck down by the disease. All along the route volunteers cheer, play music, and provide hugs. I never had so many hugs!

While heart disease kills more women each year than breast cancer, it is still shocking to note that one in eight women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer. What I learned in my journey through breast cancer was that we don’t have to take breast cancer sitting down. In fact, the best medicine it turns out for the prevention and reduction of recurrence of breast cancer and heart disease is getting out there and being active. Long-term research supports this-- it’s not just my opinion. They aren’t sure why this is, but the latest thinking seems to indicate that regular moderate exercise boosts the immune system each day, and that allows the body to kill off the little cancers that are created in all of us, before they get the chance to “dig in.”

Since I was diagnosed, I made the commitment to do some kind of physical activity every day. Some days, that’s not so easy, and I just tell myself to get to the gym and sit in the hot tub. Of course, once I get there, the hardest part is over and I actually swim! I also enlist a group of women friends, and we call each other to meet at the gym when our motivation flags. But the funny thing is, I’ve gotten to the point now that if I don’t do something, I really miss it! I never thought that would happen. I’m feeling better (and younger) than I have in years, and I’m really having fun.

So whatever happens on Sunday, it will be fun, interesting, and I’ll write about it next week! Have a spectacular Mother’s Day!

Anne Kelly

P.S. If you are a survivor, if you have a story to share with other women, please let me know. I would love to tell it. If you aren’t ready to share your story publicly, please contact me directly at annekelly@junonia.com if you are needing a little support. There were so many people who did that for me, it would be my pleasure to pay it forward. And you will get that chance too!

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