Why I'm running the 2013 NYC Marathon with The Pink Agenda to support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF)
Two years ago my mother was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She found out Mother’s Day weekend, had surgery two weeks later, went through chemo and radiation, thought she had beat it -- then passed away incredibly unexpectedly from complications related to treatment just six months after she’d been diagnosed. I was five months pregnant at the time.
There is not a day that goes by where I don’t wonder if we did something wrong. If I didn’t know enough about treatment options, enough about post-surgical care, enough about the most effective drugs at the time, enough about interactions between the medications she was already on for diabetes and high blood pressure and then for her cancer treatment. I wonder if research had advanced just a little bit more by the time she was diagnosed, if it would have made a difference.
Now, as a mother myself, I wonder how educated I am – my mother had two different types of cancer, one that her doctors attributed more to environmental factors and another that is likely hereditary. Should I be doing genetic counseling? Should I be making different lifestyle and health choices? How can I make sure I am here as long as possible for my own family? The questions make my head spin.
So I started running. To clear my head, to stay fit, to do … something. And every time I go for a run I think about staying healthy for myself, for my daughter, and for my mom – making the commitment to my own health that, frankly, she was never willing or able to make for herself.
The truth is, we don’t know why she got breast cancer. We don’t really know what triggered either type for her. We don’t really understand why she had a complication that led to her death, when we thought she was going to be fine.
The only thing that can answer those kinds of questions for me and for others who are at risk or who already have breast and other cancers is research. And that’s what BCRF does. 90 cents of every dollar they raise goes directly to funding groundbreaking research. They find the researchers whose glimmer of brilliance today could lead to the breakthroughs that will save someone else's mother tomorrow.
So I decided that now, when I run, I'm going to run for them. The Pink Agenda is a young professionals group that raises money for BCRF, and all of the money we raise on this 2013 NYC Marathon team will go to them. I've set a goal to run 26.2 miles on November 3 and to raise $5,000 for breast cancer research.
Will you help?
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