Have you ever had one of those pivotal moments where the axis of your life tilts? I've had a couple. But my first came in December of 2004 when I was with a friend who died with breast cancer. I still remember how time seemed to stop in that brief moment between her last breath and the tears that fell uncontrollably down my face.
Our friendship was brief. I never knew her without active cancer. But she was one of those bright shining spots in my life. In my mind, she was perfect. The perfect example of a wife. A friend. A fighter. A volunteer. Though I know she was human, and she had human failings, I choose only to see perfection. And she had a profound effect on the person I am 8 years later.
In that time I've run 6 marathons -- 3 of which were on teams raising money for breast cancer research and support. I've died my hair pink (yes, we're talking about the permanent stuff that involves bleaching my dark hair). I've talked to numerous groups about the importance of supporting breast cancer awareness and research. I helped a 20-year survivor come out of her shell and talk about her experience of fighting cancer as a teenager. I wear a pink ribbon every October. And whenever I can, I donate money to the cause.
This year, I'm going to be driving on a team with Her Highway that has a goal of raising awareness of and money for breast cancer research. Details are still trickling in about our itinerary, the fundraising and our pit stops along the way, but I'll share here as soon as I get them. I'll be joining the team on Sept. 25 in Utah, and I'll leave them on Sept. 29 in Columbus, OH. My heart will be with them from LA all the way to NYC.
For more information:
- Drive Breast Cancer Awareness Blog
- Driver profiles
- And follow the hash #HerHighway on twitter!
In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to get some pink highlights or hair extensions before Sept. 25. If you have any recommendations or suggestions in the Chicagoland area, let me know. Have car, will travel. I usually go to Asha, but they won't be doing pink until October. Booo.
So, to all the women I have known with breast cancer, this drive is for you.