Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pink Tutus and Big Dreams

Sometimes life just calls for a little crazy. Sometimes it’s time to put away the black business suit, heels and Chanel bag—and put on a running outfit, pink tutu and pink Mardi Gras beads. 

As the one-year anniversary of my mom’s breast cancer diagnosis drew closer last year, I wanted to do something positive for the breast cancer movement. So, I enlisted all of my friends, co-workers and neighbors to participate in the Susan G. Komen Wash Me Pink 5K. Over 40 people joined team SAY YES TO THE CURE. Not only did we raise some serious funds for breast cancer research, we had so much fun together. I cried and cried that Saturday morning watching all my friends walk and run wearing pink, as I remembered sitting in a waiting room for 8-hours on July 3, 2012 as my mom underwent a radical double mastectomy.

When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, I recall boldly declaring, “Breast cancer has messed with the WRONG family!”

Here is the photo of the 2012 Susan. G. Komen Wash Me Pink Team SAY YES TO THE CURE. We won for biggest team at the race!

My participation in Wash Me Pink in 2012 led to meeting the amazing women who lead the Susan G. Komen chapter that serves Chattanooga and Northwest Georgia, Karen Edmondson and Anita Stewart. Love these girls! A few months later, these incredible women asked my mom and I to serve as Co-Chairs of the HUGE Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Chattanooga. To promote the race, we appeared in a television and print advertising campaign together to raise awareness of breast cancer and the co-survivor relationship.

I love the way our print ad turned out! Yay for fake eyeslashes... 

And we spoke about my mom’s breast cancer experience in front of THOUSANDS the day of the race! I thought I was going to throw up speaking in front of such a large audience, but it was such a special experience to give back in this way.

Just this past weekend, it was time for Wash Me Pink 2014! And here is our team photo from this past Saturday. A year later, we are all together again walking and running in honor and in memory of beautiful women affected by breast cancer. We won BIGGEST TEAM yet again!

I pretty much have the best in-laws ever. My father-in-law invested so many hours helping us renovate our first home together, and they are always there for our growing little family to lend a helping hand or just have a fun family dinner. Caroline is seriously blessed with an incredible Mimi and Pop that crawl through tunnels, slide down slides, read book after book and love her unconditionally. Here are my in-laws (minus Pop who had to work) walking beside us in Wash Me Pink 2014. They have been so supportive over the past few years as we welcomed a new baby and dealt with my parent’s health struggles!

So, I conclude my post with this challenge. Instead of letting an illness or difficulty defeat you, what can you do to gather people together to make a positive difference? You will be surprised where it leads and how many people you touch! 

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