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Monday, October 3, 2011

Think Pink

Yes, it's one more breast cancer awareness blog post. I have my mammogram reminder on the desk. It's been there since June. I was waiting until our new insurance was in place. The old insurance didn't want to pay for last year's mammogram and the poor lady at the radiology clinic and I were becoming best friends with all of the phone calls we traded. I realize times are tough, but seriously, we paid our premiums and I resented them trying to get out of paying for what was clearly a benefit.  They kept trying to say that I had another insurance which was from several years ago when I worked for the school district.  Long story short, I have a new insurance. The card is in my wallet, and all I need to do is call and book it.

This last weekend I was a volunteer at the YWCA think pink walk for breast cancer. It was a large event with around 800 folks, and a friend from Auxiliary, Becky was in charge. I volunteered myself and friend Anna to work at t-shirt handouts when folks checked in. Later in the process Becky asked if I would capture photos. Who me? She didn't need to ask twice, as there is nothing I would rather do than shoot people and things (with my camera of course)!

So many happy faces, so many men, women, children , and pets. All coming together to raise money to help women in the Salem area who can't afford mammograms. It was so amazing when folks come together for a common cause. It really is.

I met women who were survivors, one woman in treatment, and many who had aunts, sisters, mothers, grandmothers who didn't survive breast cancer.  My own grandmother on my mother's side died of breast cancer. I never got to meet her. She died when my mother was 12 years old. My mother was forced to be the woman of the house, to cook, clean and care for the younger children.

I have two friends that are survivors.Both were at the walk with their families. One was diagnosed just a year ago last October. She was there, all smiles, and an adorable short curly hairdo. It made my heart sing to see her and hug her. Her three small boys were home with grandpa watching Aladdin. I'm not sure they truly understand all that went on this last year. Mommy in and out of the hospital. Tests, mastectomy, tubes, chemo, reconstruction, infections, pain, nausea, all of it while mommy tried to put on a happy face for her boys, and teaching high school English. All of this I know from talking to her mother, and reading her blog.

The pain her mother felt was unbearable. She mentioned several times that she would trade places with Heather if she could. Being a mother and watching your children hurt or in pain is the worst kind of punishment there is. You feel so helpless. That was last year, and now this year, the family came out and walked with smiles spread across their faces. Remission. Never a sweeter sounding word.

This was Oregon's former governor's daughter. She lost her battle. It was so touching to see the number of people on team Margaret. Her mother, husband, and son & daughter. They have been walking for three years in honor of Margaret. Sadly, last September was when Margaret lost her battle.

A family with a survivor. Gail beat it!

People got very creative to show their pink


Gail & Heather. survivors. I think Heather has never looked more beautiful!

All smiles now that her daughter is in remission!

This woman is in treatment. Hoping she wins the battle

Becky, our fearless leader. she worked her buns off, and should feel proud of the event and the outcome

A lovely team. I was at one couple's wedding, and he taught our children how to swim.  They have been touched by breast cancer on both sides of their family.

As the walk began, cars driving by honked, people cheered and waved and it was truly a joyous celebration of beating something as a group.  Less than three miles were traveled, the rain held off during the walk, and much money was raised for a great cause.

Well, time to get my appointment made. No more procrastinating.

1 comment:

MommyG said...

What amazing stories that have been shared!!! A great cause for awareness, remembrance, and celebration!

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