Tired, But Happy: The Komen 5K Wrap-Up
The sun isn’t up yet, but Union Station parking lot is dense with people. There’s an energy in the air. There’s focus on tasks at hand: set up the tent, arrange the tables with brochures, pink self-exam cards, balloons.
The runners are arriving. Everyone’s milling from booth to booth, checking out the wares of supporters of the breast health cause. We at DIC are handing out SPF chapsticks by the handful. Next to us, Cancer Action, Inc. is sharing the good news of what they can do to help cancer patients. Everyone wants to help in some way. The runners, who have fundraised and donated to be there – they are stretching and jogging in place, shaking off the morning cold. The sky bends open with pink morning light.
The song is familiar, but still the national anthem can give us goosebumps. The streets of Kansas City are familiar but suddenly they look like a challenge instead of a path. The crowd is familiar: family, friends, strangers whose struggles are the same. They are the constant. They’ll be together to the finish line. A sea of pink outfits, hair dyes and (yes, even) tutus picks up the pace.
Everyone’s sweaty. Some laugh, some cry. Everyone’s relieved. They’re catching their collective breath, cheeks flushed a pale pink. But it’s done! Fear – conquered! Race – finished!
The battle continues. It’s Monday and we’re back to work. Instead of running or handing out water to runners with the cheers of a roaring crowd, we’re at our desks. We’re writing about breast care, reading mammograms and doing our best to put women on the road to their best possible health. Without banners or ribbons, we race on. There are still challenges, fears, and best of all: ACTION. The Race for the Cure was yesterday. But today we keep going.
Gratitude is the prism through which everything refracts into beautiful colors. We are so thankful for the bravery of others, the kindness of strangers, the runners and volunteers, the challenge-seekers, the ones who carry those who cannot carry themselves. One day, hopefully soon, we’ll be able to be thankful for a cure as well. For now, we are thankful we can act. Until there’s a solution, there’s prevention and there is early detection. In the war against breast cancer, the finish line isn’t yet in sight but we know it’s there. With our empowering teammates, we gratefully race on.
Originally posted 8/12/13 on mammographykc.com.