Catching Up: Race for the Cure 2013

Where's the ravioli?
I plan on doing individual posts highlighting some of our stops on the Yahoo! On the Road Tour, but since we are leaving for Italy tomorrow and I'm not bringing my laptop, those will have to wait until we return. In the meantime, we'll play a game of catch up to get this blog up to speed.

Casey and I have been enjoying some time at home with each of our families until we leave for our vacation in Italia. We turned down two tours in order to finally cash in on our dreams of traveling abroad and we were starting to worry that we wouldn't be able to line up another tour upon our return as they become sparse leading into the fall/winter months. I truly believe in the power of positive thinking (or "The Secret") and sure enough we locked in another tour and will be departing the day after returning from Europe (more on that later).

Everything has lined up pretty perfectly this year, and I was ecstatic to find out that I would be home to support my mom during her second Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and basically her second anniversary of being cancer-free.

I am so lucky to call this woman my mother. 
On June 15, we were so happy to walk every inch of the 3.1 miles with my mom and celebrate her strength, her courage and her victory. She had an amazing support group of friends (who rocked country cowboy hats) and I can't thank her friends enough (and will never be able to thank them enough) for what they did for my mom during her surgery and treatments when Nathan and I could not be there. These women are awe-inspiring and some of the most wonderful people you'll ever meet.

This is my favorite candid photo from the race. 
St. Louis is notorious for having one of the largest turnouts for the Race for the Cure but attendance was down by nearly 20,000 this year partially due to political issues with the Komen Foundation cutting resources and grants for breast cancer screenings and education at Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide. The Susan G. Komen Foundation quickly found itself amidst a firestorm of controversy, backtracked, restored the grants but not without losing several supporters during the process.

Running through sprinklers!
My mom, being the bright and shining ball of energy and positivity that she is, put it best. On race day, it's not as much about the Susan G. Komen Foundation or the charity itself as it is about breast cancer. We will always support the race because as my mom said, it's a touching and emotional day to see thousands of people supporting others, with the hopes of finding a cure, and letting women (and men) know that whether you're going through breast cancer, you've beat breast cancer, or you've been touched by breast cancer...we're all in this together. My mom mentioned it's a great day to show others going through the struggles of cancer that you're not alone. See, isn't she amazing?
Most creative t-shirts goes to...
"Stop the War in My Rack."
I also love how the race differentiates between supporters (white shirts) and survivors (pink shirts). Surivors also have their own finish line where (in St. Louis) they're greeted with pink roses from Rams Cheerleaders, hugs and photos from Rams' players and showered with attention (as they should be) to highlight their courage, strength and perseverance.

A flood of supporters in St. Louis

A St. Louis Post Dispatch reporter snapped this shot as mom crossed the finish line. This photo made the  newspaper and was featured on their online medium. 

With all of that said, I urge you all (runner friends and non-runner friends alike) to continue to support charitable races in your area despite political conflicts or controversy because at the end of the day it's not all about the race organization (although many, including the Komen Foundation, offer great services), it's about supporting those going through this disease and making a difference.

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched--
they must be felt with the heart." -Helen Keller

To find a Race for the Cure in your area visit Susan G. Komen's official website

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