BENEFITING: SUSAN G. KOMEN MASSACHUSETTS
EVENT DATE: Oct 15, 2016
My Aunt Debbie was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She has already undergone a lumpectomy with great results and is considering optional radiation treatments. I was with her on the day of her surgery and, despite her nerves, she faced the uncomfortable procedure with great bravery. Since I found out that Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer, I knew I wanted to do something involving family and friends to show her how much we care for her and how proud we are of her determination and strength. Because Castle Island is a mere minutes from her home and holds many happy memories, I thought it only fitting to run laps around Castle Island as a way to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. Since I began running just over a year ago, Debbie has been nothing but encouraging; at one point she even gave me an official gold star for my efforts. I plan to run 7 laps around Castle Island, which will be approximately a half marathon, while family and friends will walk or run as many laps as they can. Although it will be gratifying to complete my first unofficial half marathon, I am more excited to run alongside family and close friends of Debbie’s.
For those who may not know Debbie, she is someone that is always sure to leave an impression, whether it is one of humor, commitment or care.
When it comes to humor, I think I can speak for my entire family when I say that her reaction after riding the Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster at Disney World was priceless. Not aware of how intense the Aerosmith themed coaster would be, she quickly declared “I’m going to be mad for a half hour.” Although we knew she was a bit distraught, the moment was lightened by her sureness of the exact amount of time she needed to compose herself again.
Debbie’s commitment is evident when it comes to her career. She attends professional development workshops at any chance she gets and strives to be a better co-worker and supervisor. I spent a weekend with her in New Hampshire recently and during the ride up from Boston, we mostly chatted about work. She had an abundant knowledge of workplace issues and explained to me how the workshops and training sessions she attended helped her deal with difficult problems that arose. Unlike most people who tend to evoke negativity when discussing aggravating workplace matters, she was full of pure enthusiasm and was excited to share with me different strategies to overcome obstacles.
Although there are many adjectives that could be used to describe my aunt, caring is the most accurate one by far. Whether it is her continual tradition of giving all of her nieces and nephews Easter baskets or her readiness to devote a seemingly unlimited amount time and energy to big family events like weddings and milestone birthdays, she always puts family first.