Monday, 9 September 2013

I'm Running... But Not Necessarily Why You'd Think

This time of year always seems full of new beginnings and inspiration – maybe even more than New Years. Maybe it’s the new routines that come with the whole back-to-school world, or perhaps it’s the pull to get outside and enjoy the beautiful Fall weather but I’m always filled with a little bit of restlessness that needs to be channeled into something productive. It’s always seemed like good timing that the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure takes place in the Fall, as it gives me a focus to not only work off the “summer excess” but also channels my energy into a worthwhile cause.

My boys and I have been taking part in this event for the last four or five years and it has always been an incredibly emotional and inspiring experience. Last year, being in the middle of my own cancer journey, everyone understood why we were running. Even though the physical demands were incredibly difficult and the emotional strains were tough to overcome, but obviously the prospect of a cure to end our current suffering was our focus.

This year I have no doubt that everyone will assume I’m running because I had cancer last year. And I am. It is an incredibly moving and overwhelming experience to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other woman who are fighting similar battles or with family members who are honouring those whose battles ended far too soon. At the finish line last year I watched a woman in the identifiable pink “survivor shirt” cross the finish line to cheers and hugs from at least 20-30 people with her name emblazoned on the back of their shirts. There were smiles and tears and, to me, it personified the reasons why we do this run.

So yes, I’m running because I’m a cancer survivor – or surTHRIVOR, as the inspirational Look Good Feel Better workshops founder, Sherry Abbott, wrote. I’m eternally grateful to be on the other side of this journey and I want to make sure that neither I, nor any of my loved ones, ever have to deal with such an ordeal again. I’m running to raise both money and awareness and to send good karma out to the universe in the hopes that positive energy can help eradicate something so incredibly negative. This year, as always, I am running for a cure – but this year, I’m also running for so much more: 

• I’m running because one in nine women diagnosed with this disease is one woman too many.

• I’m running so that no woman ever has to feel like a patient and not a woman.

• I’m running so that no woman ever has to look at the scars on her breasts – or the places where her breasts used to be – and ever feel less than a beautiful woman.

• I’m running so that no other woman ever has to sit beside her little boy as he helps pull out handfuls of her hair.

• I’m running so that no other man has to look at his wife and be forced to imagine a future without her.

• I’m running so that no child ever has to write “My Mom” as their reason for joining the event.

• I’m running so that no woman ever has to attend their child’s school event and fight back tears as they wonder if they’ll ever get to see another one.

• I’m running so that every woman can look forward to and attend their children’s milestones in life and cheer them on every step of the way.

• I’m running so that friendships are never lost because the journey has become too complicated or difficult.

• I’m running so that no woman ever has to feel lost and alone as they navigate their “new normal” following their own journey.

• I’m running so that no woman ever has to face losing their battle and the thought of leaving her friends and family behind.

• I’m running so that no family or friends ever have to say goodbye.

• I’m running because I love my son and my husband more than life itself and they’re not getting rid of me that easily! ;)

I’m also running because my incredibly 9-year old has set a goal to beat both my husband and myself in fundraising donations. So if you’re looking to donate, it’s a great cause – and if you’re looking to help beat cancer AND make a little boy's day, you can donate here .

For more information on the CIBC Run for the Cure, as well as how to Register, Donate or Volunteer, join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.

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