October 11, 2008

Race for a Cure... goal completed!!

We did it!! Ashley and I ran in the Race for a Cure this Saturday and it was AWESOME!!! There were over 10,000 runners - and thousands more cheering us on. We completed our 5k run in 35 minutes - we were so proud of us. Did I mention we are not natural born runners? This was our very first race and now we are hooked. The adrenalin rush was amazing - I felt like doing a little touchdown dance at the finish line. This race can also be so emotional seeing all of the breast cancer survivors walking around in their pink shirts - seeing the memorial signs for so many other women. The statistic is 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Very scary and very real to lots of families.

After the race we were treated with free Panera Bread, Starbucks coffee, and yogurt. This race knows me - all my favorite things! To top off my day I won a gift card to Academy Sports - they picked my number out of 10,000 other participants.... what are the chances?? Great day - Great run - Ran with purpose - With my Best friend beside me! You can't get any better than that. Put it on your calendar now and join us next October.

October 6, 2008

Mrs. Linda...

This Saturday I'm running in The Race For A Cure along with my best friend Ashley - this is a race to raise awareness and money for breast cancer. I've been to this race many times over the years. Sadly never to run but to volunteer - or should I say mandated to volunteer when in college. I always hated getting up so early - I was tired - it was freezing cold -and I was made to be there. However the attitude starts to change when people start arriving at the race. Breast cancer survivors walking around everywhere with a sense of accomplishment... a battle well fought. As you survey the crowd you also notice an overwhelming sea of baldness. Women who are engaged in the battle of a lifetime. You also see men and children walking around holding signs that read "My mom is a survivor" or "My wife is a fighter". Even as a very selfish and self absorbed college student I knew I was surrounded by strength and faith I knew nothing about - I was in awe of these women and brought to tears by the battle scars of this cancer.

I decided to run this race after my miscarriage in August. This race became a goal... something I could control. I controlled how much I ran and how long. I controlled my training schedule - even controlled the actual sign up for the race. The miscarriage was anything but under my control. Okay so you get the point this race and the training process was all about ME. Again I was self absorbed about my issues and that is where my mindset has been as I have trained for this race. Until two weeks ago.

When you run in the race for the cure you wear your race number but you also can choose to run in honor of someone and write their name on your number - a survivor of breast cancer, someone who died of breast cancer, someone who is battling this cancer, etc. I've know since August I was going to run in honor of Mrs. Linda - who is a 8 year survivor of breast cancer. Mrs. Linda and her husband James work with me at the Alabama Baptist Children's Homes. They are the house parents for the homeless shelter I supervise - we call it the Family Care Program. I have worked with Mrs. Linda running this shelter for seven years. Together we have encountered so many interesting women and have heard almost every heart wrenching story there is to hear. We have experienced heart break over ladies who choose not to make wise decisions and we have experienced pure joy over ladies who change their lives and are no longer homeless - they have a chance.

Mrs. Linda is a gentle lady - very wise - very caring - a care taker. God has gifted her to be a teacher. She teaches me something every time I see her. She teaches me to serve my husband, to cook new things, she encourages me to continue when things seem hopeless. Most importantly she teaches ladies who have been given up on - the ladies in our shelter who have never experienced a mother's love. Mrs. Linda finds joy in the simple things of life - others are drawn to her.

So on Saturday I'm running for Mrs. Linda.

Two weeks ago she found out her breast cancer has returned. Tomorrow she will be having surgery with chemo and radiation to follow. All this falls on a planned retirement In November. This was her time to be free from anything that hindered and to travel the country with the man she loves. Instead she will be battling for her life... battling this cancer once again. Pray for Mrs. Linda. Pray God would overwhelm her with His love. Pray for healing.

This Saturday has become a lot less about me and a lot more about other people. Suddenly this week fatigue in running wasn't an option - its not an option for Mrs. Linda to feel too tired to receive chemo - so now running isn't about me or for me... it is for Mrs. Linda.