My dear friend and colleague, Karen, was diagnosed with breast cancer this past spring. When she told me, I went through such a range of emotions – but the overwhelming feeling I had, once I had digested the news, was that I wanted to DO something. So I did. I started a team in her honour in our local Run for the Cure. It was a selfish act more than anything, as I needed to find a way to channel the anger I felt on her behalf. But slowly, that anger started to turn into something else. Hope.
This team that started as a little idea has now grown to be 75 members strong. I originally set our fundraising goal at $5,000 – and we just surpassed $10,000. We have seasoned runners, power walkers, babies in strollers and kids in tutus on this team. We have people who have never run, now training for their first 5K. Together, we have been able to rally behind Karen and run for the best reason of all – for hope and health, to be heard, to make a difference, to show we care. Running may be a solitary sport, but this is truly a team effort in every sense of the word.
Today, our local news centre published a story about our team. Taking a step back to think about where this began was empowering. Because it started with an idea and a desire to make a change. It was one small thing that I could do – and sometimes, just taking that step is enough to make something amazing happen.
On September 30, our team will be running for Karen. She will be there to see her team in action, and her 9-year old son will be our honorary captain for the day. We will be wearing pink. We will be wearing tutus. There may even be some tiaras and feather boas in the mix. On the race to the Castle, this will be a banner day because this is the day when we say that life may not always be a fairy tale, but that is when it is even more important to run like a princess.