On Saturday, September 12, Hayden Keith, my sister Catie and I attended the annual HOM Teal Strides for ovarian cancer run. The run benefits MOCA, an amazing local non-profit that is a crusader for ovarian cancer awareness. The last time I participated in this event, I was 6 weeks pregnant with Hayden Keith so it was neat to experience the run with him. I try to participate in one ovarian cancer event every year as a way to connect with mom and do my part to raise awareness for such an awful disease. It’s bittersweet to be around so many others who understand the nastiness of ovarian cancer and seeing the teal makes me smile. I wish mom was here to still run with me. Organizers handed out stickers to wear that said whether you were running in honor or memory of someone. I grabbed one for Hayden Keith and me. As I was running, I tried to read who others were running for and it was sad to see so many people my age running for their mom, kids Hayden Keith’s age running for grandma and husbands like my dad running for the wives. This disease is much more treatable in the early stages, there needs to be a better screening process for early detection.
During my mom’s fight, she loved to participate in the local run back in IA with our family and friends. We both got involved with the NOCC-IA chapter and when I miss hearing her voice, I pull up this interview we did before her last race in 2010. I just love getting to hear her (tear) and let’s ignore my outfit, hair and terrible screen presence.
Fast forward to this past weekend, Hayden Keith and I found ourselves at another 5K, this time with Joel, my mother-in-law and so many of our friends supporting our good friend Lisa and her mother who survived a brain aneurysm. Since the brain aneurysm, both Lisa and her mom have been very involved organizing the run and raising awareness for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. Coincidentally, the run/walk was at Grays Lake in Des Moines, IA, the same location as the first ovarian cancer run my parents, sisters and I attended in 2009. While I had flashbacks of running with mom, seeing her so happy to meet other strong woman fighting or surviving the battle she was, it was great to be there supporting another important cause and getting to do it with another fighter—Lisa’s mom. It was a beautiful day and an amazing event.
Participating in a road race is a great way to support a cause, get in shape and battle through any emotions you might have. When I run I’m with my mom. It doesn’t matter where or who I’m with, it’s truly when I feel her the most. And, since she no longer can do something she loved, it’s my chance to honor her. If she could go to work, head to an hour of chemo and then come home and guilt me into an hour long run I can get a run in. Mom knows best.
Have any races on your calendar? I’m always looking for a new run to add to the calendar and it always makes it better when there is a cause other than just keeping me in shape.