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Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Walk For My Mama

Last Saturday I participated in the Susan G. Komen Baton Rouge Affiliate Race for the Cure in honor of my mom and my mother-in-law.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 1999. I won't tell you how old she was so we'll just say mid-40s. I was actually in Louisiana serving as a summer missionary at the time. It was a Thursday, and we (the other summer missionaries and I) were going fishing in the Gulf with the Bayham's. As we were walking out the door, the phone rang. It was my mom. She very calmly and gently told me that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would be having surgery in a couple of weeks. To say I was shocked . . . is an understatement! The next few days were really bad. And then I made the decision to go home and spend the week of her surgery with my mom. After the surgery and radiation treatments, she has been in remission for 11 1/2 years now! My mother-in-law has been in remission for a year and a half!

I joined Team Anita for the race. I did not know Anita; she lost her battle with breast cancer last year. But I know her sweet sister, Trina, who organized the team in honor of her sister. Here is Ashley (it was also her birthday! . . . I won't tell you how old she is!), Abbie and me.
Now. You know in south Louisiana that pretty much ANYTHING is reason for a party, including a run/walk to raise money for breast cancer research! So not only did we participate in the 5K, but Trina and her boyfriend organized a tailgate. Oh yes. Tailgating is not just for football! These were our tents. And everything was pink, including the port-a-potties and the garbage cans (far right in the picture)!
Barry (Seth's brother) cooked a big ole pastalaya (that's jambalaya with pasta instead of rice).
And there were several appetizers and dips . . . in the shape of the ribbon, of course!
And . . . king cake! After all, carnival season (Mardi Gras) is upon us now.
One of the things I enjoyed was checking out the team shirts. The race organization provided a "generic" shirt for everyone who participated in the race, but a lot of the larger teams designed and wore their own shirts. The front of our shirt said, "Team Anita," and this was the back of our shirt:
Yes, that's purple and gold. No, I have not converted. I'm just a team player!

I saw several guys wearing a camouflage shirt with "open season on breast cancer" written in pink on the back. But my favorite shirt . . . was worn by a team from Ruffino's, which just so happens to be my fav Italian restaurant in Baton Rouge. I couldn't help myself. I had to get a picture. This was the front of their shirt (and you can just use your imagination as to where the hand prints fell!):


2 comments:

Rachael Mercer said...

Julie,
I have tears in my eyes.

My mom died of breast cancer just over 8 years ago.

I hear the 3day commercials and cry. I haven't done the 3-day....I am not sure enough time has passed yet. Maybe it never will be enough.

I am thrilled to hear your mom has had no recurrences since her diagnosis in 1999. You are so blessed to have a mom and a mother-in-law who have beaten breast cancer.

It is a hideous disease.

Loved your pictures....and your honesty, and love that you are walking for a cure.

Thanks for sharing!
Rachael Mercer

Mama said...

thank you, sweet Julie... I still remember the "call" I had to make to tell you about the diagnosis . . . I am so pro- "early detection, early cure." Praise God from Whom all blessings continue to flow!