Why I Race: Mary Ellen Hardies

This year’s Komen Columbus Race for theCure is personal for Mary Ellen Hardies. In her own words, here’s what’s motivating her to run on Saturday, May 17th.

“My mom called me and said,  ‘Hey, what are you doing?’

This was strange to me on two levels. One, my family doesn’t call after 8 p.m. and I don’t think she’s ever started a conversation with me with the word, “Hey.”

L-R: Annie Poddanny, Eleanor Dzurko, Jeanne Hardies, Mary Ellen Hardies, and Ramsey Lynn

The next sentence was the worst thing I’ve ever heard. ‘I have some bad news. I’ve been given a breast cancer diagnosis.’

What happened next was not my best effort at being the stoic and strong daughter who would guide her mother through this challenge. Instead, it was instant water works, sobbing, a pit in my stomach, an emptiness in my heart, a lump in my throat. My mom was consoling me. There was something so wrong with that picture that I had to pull myself together and get a grip.

I managed to say, ‘this is not good news.’ I’ve always been really good at pointing out the obvious.

What is good news is that since that day, the doctors have used words like, “best surgeon in Pittsburgh” and “very treatable.”

While my mom and the family are still nervous, it sounds like the prognosis is good. We are staying hopeful and will fight the good fight.

MEHmom and K
Jeanne Hardies, Mary Ellen’s mother, with her first grandchild, Kinsley in 2009.

Because I feel like I can’t do anything to make this easier, I’ve decided to run for my mom. On May 17th, I’ll lace up my sneakers and hit the pavement with some close friends.

We’ll be wearing t-shirts that read “Jeanne’s Jocks: Kicking Cancer’s A** since March 2014.”

Not only am I running, but thanks to the support of family and friends, I exceeded my $1,000 fundraising goal. I hope you’ll join me and my team and Race for the Cure on Saturday, May 17. Register and begin fundraising today!

~Mary Ellen Hardies