Saturday, June 17, 2006

Los Globos race for the cure

Six o'clock on a Sunday morning. Dawn in Albuquerque and it was already 75 degrees on a cloudless day. Going to be another scorcher. But that didn't stop more than 3,000 committed citizens who flowed into the Balloon Fiesta Park for the 2006 Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure (for breast cancer). This is the registration table, with a blowup of Louis the Lobo (UNM sports mascot) behind it.

There were lots of sponsors for this event, giving away all kinds of goodies and trinkets.

The purpose of the run/walk is to raise money for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. The guests of honor are the breast cancer survivors. Each survivor is given a pink T shirt, a pink bag of goodies, a free breakfast and a chance to stand up with other survivors and be honored by the crowd.

We have had
several women on the clinic staff over the years that have struggled with breast cancer. This year, we were thrilled to have walking with us a survivor from our staff who couldn't walk last year because she was in the middle of chemo.

Here she is with her 16 year old daughter.

Our team, Los Globos, finally settled on the costume you see here: Trademark Lobo pawprints on a (home-decorated) T-shirt, and fuzzy gray wolf ears (also home-made, can ya tell?) on our hats.

There was a frankly silly pre-race warmup, led by one of those perky aerobics gals and followed by few.
The runners took off first, for a quick 5K'er in the full sun.

Once the runners were clear, the rest of us took off walking like a he
rd of, well, globos! The crowd wound
around the balloon fiesta park, past some volunteer high school cheerleaders, water tables and porta pots, and eventually back to the beginning.

Along the way we admired some of the other walkers.

This guy is a breast cancer survivor himself. He goes around the country doing these walks and speaking to remind men that they are not immune. This was his 170th race for the cure!

It was good congenial fun, but more than that, it was a tribute, a memorial, a walking prayer. I kept looking at the pink-shirted women and thinking, there but for the grace of God...As I walked, I held in my mind all the women I know who have suffered this disease. Some have
survived. Some have not. Some are still struggling. All have known fear, and pain, loss, and gratitude.

Everyone finished, of course, in spite of the heat. It was only 5K, after all, a mere 3 mile walk. Compared to the journey the survivors have been on, it was nothing. I hope the funds we raised will help in some small way to lessen the burden of this awful cancer.

Oh, and by the way, Los Globos did win the Best Team Spirit award! Pizza party on Wednesday. You're all invited.

The End


anafaran said...

Looks like you had a good time, Dr. Peg. As a breast cancer survivor of 14 years I should definately be in one of these fun runs next year. Las Crucens have a small scale annual cancer event that's called Dona Ana Relay for Life Event. I did reluctantly join in a couple of years ago and the entire time I walked the path, tears were streaming down my face for one, just feeling fortunate to be alive, and two, because a month earlier a soulmate and golfing buddy succumbed to small cell lung cancer. She was only 55 years young and left a husband and teenage daughter. Thanks for sharing the pics and the enthusiasm. It's a great uplifting story to start the day.

dr peg said...

Thanks for your comments, anafaran. I am sooo glad you are a survivor! You see those pink square papers some of us wore? Those say "I walk in celebration of:" OR "I walk in memory of:" I wore a celebration one and put several names on it, including your real first name. Hope that's ok. Hey, let me know if you want to come up next year and walk with us. We'd be honored to have you! You have to agree to wear our next silly costume, tho!

anafaran said...

No problem with using my name, in fact it gives me goose bumps that you did and what's in a silly costume but serious people trying to do their little part for the Cancer Cause. You betcha I'll be there, just remind me when it comes close. I'm not that far away from you compared to Greece, and my daughter's best buddy from up the hill, they grew up like sisters really, is now a 2nd year at the UNM Medical School, so I owe her a visit as well.

connery said...

Thanks for sharing the experiences of Los Globos and the Race for the Cure.

Very wonderful to hear the 2 of you waxing poetic about surviving cancer and supporting friends who have both survived and succumbed.

Feels good just to sit here and "eavesdrop." Reassuring to know there are good people in this world like the 2 of you, and all those people depicted in those event photos.

I've had a lousy week, so to uphold "goodness" and "helpfulness" that actually gets rewarded is a wonderful lesson and dose of perspective that I wouldn't have had unless I dropped by here. (I've seen those things "trashed" this week, stomped on and punished, in my life, so it's good to read a warm, feelgood story that actually shows the opposite. I'm serious.)

G-d Bless Los Globos and all those who are "celebrated" and "remembered." And, especially you 2, Dr. Peg and anafaran.

P.S.: My "word verification string" looks like a dirty word, so THAT made me laugh!

anafaran said...

Connery, wow, you sound like you had a week like my sister had. Her psyche was shipwrecked for her weekend. She lost her job, then ran into not one, not two, but three bad personality conflicts throughout the course of her normal "taking care of business" day. She told me blow by blow what happened and I told her "Foor-gayt abat it". The people she ran into yesterday who rubbed her the wrong way just misunderstood her. Sometimes she says things that are innocent but the sonar in other peoples' heads interpret her for a SCREWBALL. We ended up laughing so hard over it I nearly wet the bed, (I happened to be undergoing one of those sleep lab tests last evening, a sleep study specifically, nothing serious). I think just hearing from someone who could empathize helped do her weekend a whopping 180. Hey, SCREWBALL!, that reminds me, baseball anyone?

dr peg said...

anafaran - baseball? Did you say BASEBALL? Are you aware that the 2006 World Cup in soccer is being played in Germany AS WE SPEAK? And you have the huevos to mention baseball? Ai yi YI, amiga!

Connery - I'm glad we could provide you a pickmeup. Sorry you had a bad week. If you're seeing goodness and helpfulness getting stomped on, maybe you're not hanging out with the right folks!

anafaran said...

I have baseball on my mind when the World Cup games aren't showing. Besides we're out of it aren't we? What a disappointment!
But, yes, for sure, I'm into soccer this summer without guilt. The only sport I haven't become enthralled with is car racing and wrestling. Yesterday I even caught a bit of Bassmasters. I think I'd like to go out for a speedboat spin to try my hand at fishing one of these years.

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