Sunday, October 5, 2014

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Boston

My Mother and I were invited to join team Mary Sue's Spirit in memory of my mother's cousin who passed away after a brief but ferocious battle with breast cancer.  We decided to participate in this year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Boston, and boy and am I glad we did. The event was amazing, and they really celebrate survivors.

Mom and I arrived before some of the people we were walking with to check out the event and I had noted online they have a survivor tent. Well, as I registered as a survivor you check in with the tent. They give you a sash to wear at the walk that says "Survivor" on it and they ask you "how long" I said 1.5 years (the math was easier) and they give you a sticker to wear with your sash. There was a gentleman in front of me who noted that he was a 8 year survivor. He was also rocking a pink mowhawk wig. It was great. In the survivor tent they also have stickers and gifts for the caregivers. After putting the sash on, the volunteer asked me if my mom was my caregiver. "That's my mom. Absolutely she is my caregiver.". Mom happily wore her caregiver sticker all day.

Here we are after we got our swag taking a photo. They had signs you could use. I was very partial to this one:
 We met up with our group and picked up our tshirts. We were walking with a friend whose mother is a 12 year breast cancer survivor and she had many stickers for those who she knew who lost their battle. Everywhere were peoples names for those who were fighting, surviving and those who lost their battle. Early in the event mom and I came across a group of young people who all had matching shirts for Team Irene. Then we looked at the dates on the shirts. She was 20 when she lost her battle in May. 20 years old. Motivation to walk was everywhere.

The back of the team Mary Sue's Spirit shirts read "With Brave Wings She Flies"
Walking around with a survivor sash was amazing. One fellow survivor we found was just yelling "12 years" everytime someone pointed her out as a survivor. 12 years. Sounds good. At one point mom and I fell into walking pace with another survivor. She has been cancer free for 7 years and today was her birthday. She carried a cowbell with her. She said she felt compelled to continue to do the walk every year because when she was in treatment so many people walked for her and that she feels there are so many people for her to continue to walk for. She also pointed out what many others did today. "You are so young." My only response is "Yes I am". We also talked about surviving for more birthdays and compared notes about MRI dye vs CT scans. New friend in 30 seconds or less and already bonding over follow up scans. Love it.

It was perfect weather. Blue sky, zero clouds and in the 50's. I convinced (or shamed) my mother into walking the 5.7 mile route. It was too much fun to be surrounded by so much pink, hope and celebration.

On our walk home I kept my sash on, I earned it. When we were crossing the street a woman in her car stopped at the light gave me a big thumbs up. Another person on the sidewalk read the sash and gave a great big smile. The best though, while waiting at another cross walk a woman who had a green light started beeping her horn to get our attention and was fist pumping to celebrate. I think I shall wear my sash at all times.

A celebration of breast cancer survivors while raising money for research, treatment and support. How could it not be great? It was fantastic to see so many survivors out there. They are all superheros.

And if you haven't seen this video Truly Brave for the tiny superheros, totally worth the watch.

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