Sunday, September 23, 2007

Race for the Cure, Portland

Emily, Beth, Sofia and I all joined in the Race for the Cure here in Portland this morning. What a great event. This is at least my 5th Race for the Cure. We do the 5K walk, which is the largest of the events. We met up with other teachers from the school where Emily teaches. The school principal, who was there to walk today, is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, so her staff showed up to show support. I think everyone knows family or friends who have had this very common cancer and we all want a cure to be found, so it is great to be able to support an organization that has been so effective in funding research and moving treatment options forward.

Sofia didn't really understand what it was all about, but she took the opportunity and had a nice nap through the entire walk. That's Emily below in the dark red sweater pushing the stroller.

Heading up toward Broadway at the beginning of the walk, it was hard to tell how many walkers there were. Those in pink hats and shirts are breast cancer survivors. Many people had pink sheets of paper pinned to their backs that said they were walking in memory of someone or in celebration of someone's survival. My Mom had breast cancer and survived for 13 years. It had a lasting effect on her health and probably contributed to her relatively early death. I didn't have a sign on my back with her name, but I certainly think about Mom whenever I participate in the RFTC. As we made our way up the incline toward the Broadway Bridge I looked back to see walkers as far as the eye could see. There were just as many ahead of us. I haven't heard a final count yet, but the number I heard this morning was 49,000 participants. Portland's is the second largest RFTC event in the US. (If you've been taking notes during my Portland tour blog entries, you will recognize "Big Pink," looking especially pink today, in the background)

It was a beautiful, crisp morning and very festive event, with cheerleaders all along the route, cheering us on, bands playing, people waving from rooftops and at the finish line a balloon arch and pink roses for all the breast cancer survivors finishing the walk.

The walk concluded at Waterfront Park where there were tents and tables set up with all kinds of freebies for the participants. The longest line was at the Macy's tent where they were giving away cute black and pink tote bags and pink underwear! We decided it wasn't worth the long wait in line, but scored granola bars, yogurt, bottled water, sun chips, cheese, bananas and cookies at other tents. Sofi woke up for the party and showed off her pink socks.

A good time was had by all, and a huge pile of money was raised for cancer research! It was a worthwhile Sunday.


  1. Anonymous5:26 PM

    Your Sunday sounds much like my Saturday. Yesterday was St. Luke's Women's Celebration, the 2nd largest in the nation! I went with my friend who also works @ St. Lukes and my boss. It was also a 5k and was incredible. The walk went up Capitol to the train depot. It was amaizing to look up the hill and see an ocean of women. (men we not allowed to walk, but volunteered). There were too lots of vendors, free food, but no free undies! RFTC is later this year, and I plan to do that as well, but I am sure it is not quite as big as Portland's!

  2. Anonymous6:32 PM

    As a 3 time survivor, I guess I should take part in these sort of events. But, I find it hard to do. It is easier for me to move on and hope it is all behind me.

    So, I am glad that there are so many out there fighting the good fight. Thanks, from me.

    You are looking mahvelous - have you lost weight? :)

  3. Gerrie, you have earned the right to turn your back on cancer and live your wonderful life and never look back! Leave it to the rest of us to fight the fight. You fought your fight and won. And I must say my choice to pay $25 and enjoy a fun walk with a lot of people doesn't begin to compare with what you have given to this cause, and it wasn't a choice for you. I was thinking about you today, too.

    Oh, and yes, I have lost weight. Thanks for noticing!

  4. Anonymous10:59 PM

    Yipee for a beautiful day for a walk, raising money for a great cause, and of course, for pink socks on cute little feet!

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