This year my children and I ran the Run for the Cure 5 km race in Calgary for the first time. My mother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and was undergoing treatment across Canada. We decided to show our support by collecting donations, having custom t-shirts made and wearing pink bandanas. We phoned her in the morning and surprised her with the news. Needless to say, she was moved. Getting an 18 and 20 year old up at 7 am on a Sunday morning is no easy feat.
We were all set for a short brisk run to be followed by a hearty breakfast. I had completed several half marathons and knew what to expect. However…the experience was so much more than that. The city of Calgary really comes together for this event.
Our inspiring Mayor Nenshi spoke at the opening ceremonies. “You’re running for people who have no idea that they will ever be touched by breast cancer,” said Mayor Nenshi. “You’re running for someone who is going to get a terrifying diagnosis one year, five years, or ten years down the road. Youʼre running so they have support.”
One would be hard put to find someone not affected by cancer. It is a cause that brings people together. From babies to grandmas, people were decked out in pink costumes, laughing and crying, talking and cheering. Many houses along the route were decorated while the owners were outside cheering and offering refreshments.
There were cheerleaders, gymnasts and bands from local schools performing. Strangers shared stories as they walked, reminisced about lost loved ones and encouraged each other.
As an experienced runner, I was expecting just that…a short, easy 5 km run. But it was so much more than that. The run made me proud to be a Calgarian, a mother, a daughter, a runner and a supporter of Run for the Cure.
It was my first 5 km run, but it wonʼt be my last.
You’re running for people who have no idea that they will ever be touched by breast cancer. You’re running for someone who is going to get a terrifying diagnosis one year, five years, or ten years down the road. You’re running so they have support.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi
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