Thursday, October 22, 2009

Walking with Suzy

Last Sunday Billy and I walked with our friend Suzy in the Susan G. Komen Maryland Race for the Cure. Billy had gone to sleep before 6pm the night before, and I was afraid he was coming down with something and not likely to walk. But he woke up early, ready to go.

It was the coldest morning since we've been in Maryland, and we broke out the long sleeves, long underwear, hats, and umbrellas. We saw ice on some cars as we drove north to Hunt Valley for the walk!

It was easy to find registration and check in, despite the thousands of participants. Billy and I pinned on numbers, and Suzy added a sign to hers that said "I walk for my mom." Suzy and many of those people we were walking with never get a break from breast cancer -- its direct and indirect effects (and its looming threat) are felt every day. Optimism in the face of that was the overwhelming emotional climate on Sunday. We spotted lots of teams walking in memory of the deceased or in support of survivors. Survivors wore pink numbers, and it was heartening to see them surrounded by their families and friends.

We walked the 5k in just about an hour, moving ahead through the loose pack of walkers. We were cold, and our pants legs got wet up the back, but we kept each other smiling. Afterward we went to Caribou Coffee for coffee and hot cider.

Special thanks to those of you who donated to the Maryland Race for the Cure. Some of that money goes to the costs of the race, and some goes to national research grants and local education and outreach. We look forward to the advances that the scientific and medical communities will make to continue to reduce and possibly eliminate deaths from breast cancer in our time.

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