The Avera Race Against Breast Cancer was an amazing event this year! I hope you were able to join us. If you weren’t, I’ll tell you a few of the highlights…
It was a chilly morning, but spirits were very high. I arrived at the race just in time to see the survivor photo. There were survivors who were more than 20 years post-treatment and some that were still going through treatment. The beautiful sight of all of those women encouraging each other is something that I will hold with me always.
Another moment that touched me deeply was when I was walking through the crowd to stretch before the run. There was touching music playing and there was a woman who was going through treatment. She was wearing a cap and you could tell her hair was gone. She was crying and holding her teenage daughter. It brought a lump to my throat to see this sight. This woman symbolizes what this race is about for me. Hope. Judy Davis, who the race was started for 25 years ago, told me that you become a survivor the moment that you are diagnosed. This woman I saw was a hero, fighting a difficult battle.
Running for Hope
I didn’t have time to train much this year for the race. The weather didn’t cooperate, and it was a very slow spring. When I saw that woman, nothing else mattered. I ran the race for that woman, my sister, and every other survivor. For the challenges faced by every person who has cancer, the minor difficulty of a 5K run was the least that I could do.
That day, 6,800 people, a record number, also ran, walked, and celebrated hope. More than 400 thousand dollars were raised and funds are still coming in. Each one of those dollars will stay local to benefit cancer patients in our area. The dollars go to buy wigs for cancer patients, fund the navigators who help to connect patients to resources and answer questions, and fund many other programs.
Thank you to everyone who came out to our 25th Avera Race. Congratulations to all of the runners on reaching your goals. Thank you also for that woman, whose name I may never know, for reminding me what this race is all about.