Since this May 19, 2012 will be the 20th Annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure, for the next weeks leading to the event we’re going to spotlight 20 individuals who have participated in the Race throughout the years. They come from all walks of life and may be survivors, volunteers, grantees, sponsors or advocates, but they’re all committed to the fight against breast cancer.
Week Twelve: The One Who Hopes to Rock-Out Breast Cancer
Before a sea of pink wigs, pink t-shirts, balloons and signs, the Hot Pink Racers will take the stage to bring a little punk rock to the Race for the Cure. Behind the dark sunglasses and loud music is a man who is carrying out a promise he made to a very special person who was taken too early by breast cancer.
Joe Cygan’s wife – and former 10TV anchor- Heather Pick lost her battle in November 2008.
Joe has turned his incredible loss into a way he can carry on Heather’s fighting spirit and legacy.
As a way to celebrate his late wife’s zest for life and her love of music, Joe partnered up with a few friends who played for some events Heather use to do. Those same guys joined together and the “Hot Pink Racers” were born. The group does not play for profit and they are not looking for fame. They play for donations that go directly to Komen Columbus.
“We want to raise awareness and funds for Komen whenever and wherever we can. We’ve played for a couple of thousand and a couple of dozen… if it helps even a little, it’s worth it.” Joe said, adding, that his dream gig would be playing a Komen Columbus Going-out-of-business show.
“I feel like a cure is a real possibility some day. I really would love to tell my daughter, ‘we beat it.’ Heather was a fighter and so am I. Someday we will kick cancer’s a**.”
The Hot Pink Racers will again be jamming before the Survivor Ceremony and after the Race on May 19th. It’s one of Joe’s favorite gigs and he’s looking forward to seeing the Columbus Commons packed with a sea of pink and seeing the survivors realize they did something good that day.One of Joe’s favorite songs that they perform is “Believe.” It captures the time he and Heather escaped from the grueling reality of treatment and doctors and enjoyed living in the moment.
“It’s about appreciating the little things and escaping from the crush of a weight like cancer,” said Joe. “We just got out on a beautiful day to get some lunch and take a walk. Funny how something so small seemed like such a huge relief.”Also included on the track is Julia, the couples’ daughter, with a few of her friends singing. “It’s really about learning to think like a kid and ‘enjoy today,’” said Joe.
The band has a new album called With Open Eyes coming out April 10th and the album will be available on their website– all proceeds go to Komen Columbus.
When Joe looks out into the crowd on Race day he says he feels inspired to keep “rocking it out,” keep fighting and enjoying today and every moment in between.
Join the Hot Pink Racers and rock out on May 19th. Register today!