October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So last weekend, I went down to Little Rock with two of my best friends, Nellie and Caley, to run the Race for the Cure. Despite getting split up amongst over 45,000 women, we all crossed the finish line and got back home safely.
I have run in the Race for the Cure for several years now because breast cancer has had a tremendous impact on my family. I have always run the race in memory of my grandmother (mom's mom) who died from breast cancer in 1964.
I have learned a lot about the history of the disease from hearing my grandmother's story. Like the fact that breast cancer was almost shameful to women 40 years ago. Awareness was nothing like what it is today. There was no Race for the Cure, no Komen Foundation, no pink ribbons, and no Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There was also no chemo or radiation. This left people with very little hope. How different my grandmother's story might have been if she had been diagnosed later in life.
In high school, I started running the race for my Aunt Linda as well. Fortunately, Aunt Linda's story is one of survival. Love you "Saint" Linda!
Two years ago, I ran into Aunt Linda at the race along with two of my cousins, Lori and Shari. I always think its crazy when you run into someone you know out of a sea of almost 50,000 women!
Some of my other aunts have battled this disease as well. Aunt Alma, Faye, Ruth, Jean and Linda. In addition, my Uncle Kenneth is a survivor...
I wish more people knew that men can get breast cancer. In fact, men have a lower survival rate than women. I'm no doctor, but my guess is that its because there is less awareness among men about the disease.
This year's race was different though. I ran it for someone new. I ran it for my sister who found a lump in her breast just before Easter of this year. She had a lumpectomy a couple weeks later. You can read her story HERE.
I know that our journey is not over. The two greatest risk factors for getting breast cancer are being a woman and growing older. But I am so thankful that we have put this obstacle behind us, and everything is OK.
There are so many causes that people can advocate... good causes that deserve attention and study. My ultimate "cause" (for lack of a better word) is to share the love of Christ with other people. I do feel compelled however to do my part in spreading awareness and understanding of breast cancer. I have always felt this urge. I believe that God put it on my heart to be involved in finding a cure. I've seen the affects that it has had on my family and others. It is a disease that has affected too many people. I pray that someday we do find a cure, and we will give God the glory. But that time is in His hands.