EVENT DATE: Nov 06, 2016
This summer marked 4 years since we lost my aunt to breast cancer. It always strikes me how randomly a memory will hit me. I'll respond, "no problem," when someone says, "thank you," and hear my aunt's voice say, "you're supposed to say you're welcome." A song will come on the radio and I'll think about the last time I had dinner with her. Someone will mention an older computer model and I'll laugh to myself about the 5-inch floppy disks she refused to stop using long after everyone had made the jump to flash drives.
As we grow up, we all have people in our lives we come to appreciate in ways we didn't when we were children. My aunt was one of those people for me. The older I got the more I realized how true it was that, aside from my parents, she was one of the biggest cheerleaders I had. Which made her loss feel all the more profound as she missed events in my life she would have loved, like law school graduation and getting sworn in to the Bar. I know that wherever she is, she was cheering me on, just like she always did.
My aunt, unfortunately, does not represent the minority. It is estimated that 1 in 8 will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It is the most diagnosed cancer in women and the 2nd leading cause of death in women. But there is hope. With research, progress has been made toward reducing occurrences and fatalities. Still, there is so much more to be done.
That is why I am running the NYC Marathon in November as a member of Team Baldwin.
The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund is an organization I have supported since 2009. The work that the organization does is unique. Rather than try to provide large, multi-million dollar grants, the Fund provides a handful of $50,000 grants each year to support researchers in the early stages of their research. Additionally, the Fund was instrumental in the creation of the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center at Stony Brook University Medical Center, the first in New York to receive national accreditation.
A few years ago, there was a campaign aimed at cancer fundraising that said we should work toward a world with more birthdays. And we should. But it is about so much more than that. It is about creating more everyday moments sharing a slice of pizza, Thanksgiving dinner or simple moments in a backyard garden.
I'm running for my aunt. I'm running for Carol Baldwin. I'm running for everyone who has been touched by breast cancer. I'm running for everyone who will be touched by breast cancer in the future. But, most importantly, I'm running for everyone who research will prevent from being touched by it at all.
I hope you will join me in the fight to find a cure.