For all those family members who read wanting to know what’s going down in the world for people they never see or hear about, this is for you: time to lace up those sneakers for the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K come May 10. Some of you (and I know who you are now) have been very generous supporters of our team in the past. We’ve raised funds in honor of Grandma Louise Dickson Taylor for breast cancer research. We’ve ran miles and miles (over the years) with thousands of others whose lives have been affected by the devastating effects of breast cancer. And we’re going to run again on May 10.
I started the team nine years ago (holy cow, nine?!? really??) after my initial run in the Race for the Cure in 1998. That first year I signed up through my job at IHC because mammography was sponsoring a team. I didn’t quite fully realize what the impact of doing this race would have for me in years to come. I still remember showing up down at Franklin Covey field not knowing what to expect (it was my first 5K, after all) and when checking in, I was asked “Are you running in celebration or in memory of somebody?” “In memory,” I replied and I was handed a pink square to pin on my back or front on which I wrote “In Memory of my grandmother – Louise Dickson Taylor”.
The race wasn’t as big back then as it is now; there were only maybe 2-3,000 people participating (today it’s closer to 12-14,000). But I remember thinking at each mile marker, ‘I’m running for my grandma, my grandma that I never got to meet’. I ran by many women in pink hats which meant that they were either currently battling breast cancer or they had survived it. And it motivated me onward even more.
When I came home from the race that first year, I stopped by my parents house to tell them how it went and that I was going to do this every year. I showed my mom my pink square with my grandma’s name on it. She smiled, held it up, and then burst into tears.
It’s such a simple thing to run a race – it really is. You pick your feet up and you move them, one at a time, until you cross a finish line with thousands of others. Some may not find much significance in the act, but to me this race has become all about honoring and remembering a grandmother right before Mother’s Day. I coined the name Louise’s Legacy because she left quite a legacy in her wake and I am proud to be a member of that group. I can only hope to possess a sliver of the dignity, compassion, and true beauty she emulated throughout her short life. My tribute to her is to participate in this small act of pounding the pavement for three miles, knowing that my monetary contributions may somehow prevent another girl from growing up without a grandma.
So, Taylor clan, time to get organized! Visit our team site here and get registered online (see Register for this Event at the top of our page) or donate if you can. I best be seeing you at the race!