Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why show up and do it?

I don't think one blog entry will be able to adequately summarize what's been going on in "FAB 5K world" over the past 6 months. Unfortunately, the beginning of 2011 started similarly to the early months of 2010 for many of us. Sarah, who was a huge inspiration to us all, passed away at the end of December. Sarah and her family inspired us by fighting this beast we call Breast Cancer with a fervor that I can't even begin to imagine myself doing. She and her husband's acceptance and courage through this most recent part of their journey is no different.

I spent the first month of this year too sad and angry to even begin thinking about planning the second FAB 5K. My mind has been peppered with the never ending question, "Why"? Why did this happen to Sarah? Her husband and beautiful boys? Charmaine? Barb? So many others? Why can't they find a cure already? Why organize a race if we can't make a huge enough dent...save just one person?

Then, a lovely person (who, at 16, lost her mom to Breast Cancer) gave me a book to read; Promise Me by Nancy G. Brinker. Only 25 pages into the book, I know why. To quote Nancy, "....moment meets messenger, information becomes action. Hearts and minds shift to a new paradigm, money happens, and it all comes together".

Our inaugural race served it's purpose on so many levels. First and foremost, it lifted the spirits of Sarah, Alan, Ben, Sam and Sarah's brother, Thomas. I will never forget her huge smile on that day. Our gathering showed Christine as well as Charmaine's and Barb's family how much they mean to us and our community. The event raised a great deal of money within a small amount of time for Breast Cancer Research; the only thing that's really going to get rid of this disease. Breast Cancer survivors and people affected by breast cancer came together to show one another love and support. Finally, it brought beauty in the face of something so horrible.

There are a lot of Breast Cancer organizations and events out there. It's not a competition - it's a coalition. From a grassroots level, our race shows our community how much we cherish and appreciate one another. We demonstrated that when someone needs us, we'll show up and do what needs to be done. That's WHY.

This year's race will take place (very poignantly) on Sarah's 40th birthday: June 11, 2011 at Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights. Sarah, Charmaine, Barb, Christine and Janet were our catalysts. It was when, "moment met messenger" and we're going to keep doing it. We all need to keep at it because it needs to be done. That's why.