Volunteer Shares Thoughts of Race Day

We’re proud to share the following post by one our dedicated and passionate volunteers. Enjoy!

Guest post by: Debra Pack
Marketing, Columbus Metropolitan Library

When I volunteered to work the finish line at the 19th annual Komen Race for the Cure, I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe crowd management and cheering as runners and walkers crossed the finish line.

But as Amy Donovan from 93.3 WLZT and Stacie Raterman from 92.3 WCOL called out number of years surviving as survivors crossed the finish line, I was incredibly moved. It was an experience I will never forget.  And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Survivors cross the finish line at the 19th annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure in May.

Survivor after survivor crossed the finish line through the survivors’ chute. Some just diagnosed, some starting treatment to others surviving 1 year to 10 years to 50 years and all numbers in between. And there were survivors who beat this devastating disease more than once. All of them showed courage and strength of will – they were truly inspiring as they crossed the finish line to cheers and handshakes and high fives.

Then there were those who ran or walked in honor of loved ones lost to breast cancer. Children honoring mothers who told them stories, husbands honoring wives they thought they’d grow old with, sisters honoring sisters who shared their hopes and fears, friends honoring friends who shared countless lunches talking about their kids.

And then there were those like me – spared so far. But I have friends who are survivors – women who inspire me with their strength and optimism. I have friends whose friends and family have battled breast cancer. It touches us all, so we all need to be part of the cure.

That Saturday, I saw a friend from high school walk through the survivors’ chute. Her T-shirt said two-time survivor. I hadn’t seen her in over 20 years and had no idea. We hugged and reconnected – it won’t be another 20 years before we see each other again.

In fact, I think we’ll probably have lunch and talk about our kids.