Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Race for the Cure...The Story of the Runners

The Race for the Cure is a fantastic opportunity for runners and walkers to get out and share in a great cause. As a runner, I have never actually been involved with this race until this year.  My mother-in-law  is a breast cancer survivor, and I lost my aunt to breast cancer a few years ago. So, my husband, Gavin, and I, decided to run with the Des Moines University team, Team DMU.

Anyone who knows me understands I love to capture moments, and I had planned on creating a great collage of the DMU participants to share with the campus. The streets were lined with people of all ages, some dressed in crazy outfits others had pink hair. I laughed as I passed women who wore bra-caps, feather boas,little boys wearing sports bras over their hot pink tees, and even those sporting pink mustaches.  I was encapsulated by all the smiling faces, face paint, and pink as we prepared to run.

The streets were lined with supporters, survivors and those still battling the disease. There were children high-fiving, bikers in tutus and a steady stream of pink costumes all around the runners.
However, I was not prepared for what happened next, and I captured many moments, which will last a lifetime.

The sound of the cannon explodes in my chest
Slowly I begin quickening pace with the rest
 Breathing in and out to find my steady beat
As my hot pink shoes fall upon the street 
Focused on running, breathing, mile one 
The glitter from a passing runner glinting from the sun
Draws my eyes and brings me from my reverie
As I focus on the person running steadily past me

My breath is caught between the intake and express
As I read the words, "In my daughter's memory, God Bless." 
A picture of her loved one smiles, "goodbye," as she pulls ahead
This devoted mother runs this street in honor of life; a tear I dare shed

I started paying attention to the backs of individuals all around
For this is where the stories were shared and memories were found
The stories of loved ones who succumb to the disease, or had clung to life and battled back. 
I was inspired by shirts that read, "Survivor," and families running together in a pack

Pure love fueled the hearts and pumped the legs of the young and old 
As they each ran to honor and fight, and allow a powerful story to unfold
My heart captured moments of love, support, and community 
As we all became part of the Race that brings hope to humanity

I am so honored I was able to share in this great day with some of the strongest individuals I have ever met.  Thank you to all of you for allowing me to share in your stories, and for giving me permission to take your pictures. I am blessed because I was able to capture those precious moments of memory with you and to be part of the Race for the Cure Des Moines 2016 story. Continue to overcome through courage and strength.