Why I Race For The Cure
As we all enjoy the waning weeks of summer before our kids go back to school and the days grow shorter, it's time also to think about one of the events that will help close out our beautiful Northwest summer: The Portland -Vancouver Race For The Cure on Sunday, September 17th.
It's one of the most powerful events I've ever been a part of, and that's one of the reasons for the third year in a row, I am humbled to serve as the Race's honorary co-chair.
I'd like to share with you why I run in the race, sign my entire family up for the race, form my own team, and raise money for a cure. I'd also like to invite you to join me in helping find a cure for breast cancer, a cause very dear to my heart.
Here are my reasons and I invite you to share yours here, too.
For me, it comes down to friends, family, and some numbers.
One-in-eight. Those would be pretty good odds if you were talking about chances of winning the lottery but not when you're talking about the sobering statistics of getting breast cancer.
One in eight. Those numbers scare me. I remember not too long ago, the statistics used were one in ten women would get breast cancer in her lifetime.
Now, not only have the odds grown grimmer, but the number of people I know personally who have battled breast cancer has also increased.
Two of those women are very close to me.
Both my mother-in-law, Marilyn, and my step-mother, Suzan are breast cancer survivors. I saw how they bravely battled the disease; undergoing radiation therapy, and for my step-mother a double mastectomy. They are more than seven-year survivors now, and serve as shining examples to me of grace, dignity and strength in their survival.
I now have two younger friends who are also survivors. I've seen them go through chemotherapy, losing their hair, but never losing their positive attitude. I wonder if I could do the same in the same situation.
One friend, who had always participated in the "Portland Race For the Cure" before her diagnosis, ran last year for the first time - as a survivor. Seeing her at the end of the race, proudly wearing her pink hat covering a bald head, carrying her head high as a survivor made me cry.
I cried in admiration, cried at how I hate the disease, and cried in determination to be a part of the cure.
I have four children, three teenage daughters and a son. It's my dream that we will find a cure in their lifetimes, so they don't have to worry about that one-in-eight statistic growing even worse.
In Portland and Vancouver, we have the fifth largest "Komen Race for the Cure" in the country. That's pretty good, considering there are more than 114 races nationwide.
Last year in Portland, we had 45,000 participants and raised more than $2 million. That's wonderful and thanks so much to all of you who took part. We have the most wonderfully compassionate community. I know together we can become the largest, most successful race in the country.
So, be sure to come out on September 17th, and bring an extra family member and friend. Let's make this the biggest and most financially successful race ever. That's what it's going to take for us to finally find a cure for breast cancer.
I also head up a team, "Laural's Hardy Racers". Anyone can join, just sign up on my team under "Existing Teams". There's a link here on KGW.com
Or you can form your own team. Even if you don't want to participate in the race, you can still be a part of the effort to find a cure. You can make a donation to my team or any other.
I invite you to join me in finding a cure. Together, I know we can do it.
I am sure there are as many stories about "why you race" as there are people who participate. So, please share your reasons with us here on our blog.
We can all find strength in sharing our stories.
This is our time. This is our place. These are our reasons we "Race For the Cure."
Click on 'comments' to share why YOU run...and read the stories of others.