by Marilyn B.
Read Marilyn's story and track her journey…
Our Team—Act As If—made an impact this weekend at the Race for the Cure. Our team consisted of six women, five teenage girls and one man. It's hard to describe an indescribable day, but let me try.
Awhile back, my women's group (Act As If) decided we should do one of the walks. At the same time, my friend Donna was interested in us doing a walk/race with our girls. As is often the case, a leader emerged, and Barb got us signed up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on the National Mall. Barb was fabulous. She made sure we all knew what we were doing, orchestrated the meeting points and brought us all pink-ribbon bandanas, homemade signs, hot-pink water bottles, and freshly baked granola bars. Needless to say, HUGE shout-out to Barb!
The Act As If Team included goddesses Marilyn, Abby, Nicole, Stuart (female), Barb, Donna, Emily, Jenna, Hailey, Katie and Sarah, and one god, David, who stood in for Meredith, who couldn't make it. David had so much fun, he is now an honorary member of the group, and we'll never get rid of him.
I was thrilled when I woke up Saturday morning feeling good and ready to go. I grabbed my pink hat—signed by all the lacrosse girls and their moms (thanks, Denise and Gabby). Most of us met at the Metro at 6 a.m. Although it was early, we were full of hugs and raring to go. As we headed down to DC, each Metro stop added a new group of survivors and supporters, and the train was filled with energy, hope and excitement.
Once we got to DC and made our way to the Mall, our giddiness grew. The festivities started with all the survivors congregating to make their way to stage in the Parade of Pink. At first I felt torn and a bit isolated because I was separated from my team, but as this massive group of survivors started walking toward the stage, the power was overwhelming. By the time I saw my team cheering me on from the sidelines and my daughter Emily coming over with a huge smile and a warm hug, I was filled with pure joy, love and, above all, hope.
Standing up on the platform with the other pink ladies was a hoot. The music was blaring, we were dancing, everyone was smiling. We heard from the woman who started the Susan G. Komen Foundation as a promise to her sister 30 years ago. She promised her dying sister that she would do everything in her power to make an impact on this awful disease. She certainly has come through on that promise. We have come so far in 30 years. I can only hope that in the next 30 years to come we can eliminate breast cancer altogether! But I digress….
After the opening ceremonies, the runners took off, followed by the walkers. By then we had met up with a few more girls from our team, as well as Denise and her powerful team of women and teens. It was a massive burst of energy. Our signs were held high, so we could keep track of the team among the thousands of walkers. It was terribly hot and humid, and when I saw the sign for the "short route," I was happy to take the road less traveled. Most of the team continued on for the full 5K, but Stuart and Donna made the sacrifice of coming back with me. Poor gals, they were forced to sit in the shade of the survivors' tent and have breakfast while we waited for our team. It was great to welcome our teammates back from the race with another round of hugs.
When Emily came back, she was overwhelmed with all sorts of emotions, and she and I had a short little sob. We all hung out for a while, laughing, dancing, eating, but mostly smiling. We were all very happy to be part of something much bigger than ourselves.
As we made our way back to the Metro (and the obligatory stop at Starbucks for the girls), we talked about what we were going to do for next year's race. Every one of us committed to continuing this new tradition for many years to come.
So, it's now the eve of cycle #5. My mother-in-law, Maureen, is here. The pantry is full, the laundry is done, the house is clean. Donna will pick me up at 10 in the morning, and then we do it all again.
Thank you so much for being part of the team. I could not do this without your love and support.
Yours in pink,