Friday, May 6, 2011

My walking hat.

I've walked to raise money for breast cancer in this hat since 2007.  Embroidered on the hat are the names of those for whom I walk.  I will be wearing my hat tomorrow at the "Inspiring Hope" 5k/10k walk/run to raise money for the Kindred Spirits team, with whom I trained and walked in 2007 and 2008.  I'm proud that ASA Risk Consultants is a sponsor of the event for the second year in a row.

I thought I would tell you a bit about each of the persons whose names are on my hat.  On the front are Tracy and Diane, both breast cancer survivors, one my next door neighbor and one my former colleague at Washington Mutual who walks now each year herself,  On the side of my hat that you can see in this picture are three other WaMulians -- Julie, whose humor and optimism in facing down advanced breast cancer was the inspiration for my first ever walk; Denise, who fought pancreatic cancer right down to the end with all the experimental treatments available; and Lisa, who beat thyroid cancer in 2006.  The back of my hat is jammed with names added over time including five breast cancer survivors (Colleen, Cindy, and  Judy from WaMu and Anne, guiding light for so many years at The Seattle Foundation), as well as two brain cancer patients, the composer/musician Andrew d'Angelo and my hero now deceased, Teddy Kennedy, Lion of the Senate; and my colleague Brian, who came back from a virulent form of abdominal cancer.  The fourth side of my hat includes my sister Mary, a breast cancer survivor; my friend Jobeth, who beat uterine cancer; and my old friend Sabine, who was laid to rest last year of brain cancer.

Each of these names represents a real person, whose life was torn apart by cancer.

My hat does not carry the names of the survivors who are members of the Kindred Spirits team, but I wanted to mention our captain, Penny Kellam, who has led this team and walked for something like thirteen or so  60 mile events.  She is the organizer of the "Inspiring Hope" event tomorrow, and a survivor of both uterine and cervical cancer.

This list is way too long.  Our banners say "Everyone deserves a lifetime."  I'll continue to walk and raise funds for screening, early detection and additional research that brings us closer to understanding how to eliminate this horrific disease.

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