Oct 2, 2009

Message From Honorary Race Chairman

Honorary Race Chair Michelle Bynum recently found out that her metastatic breast cancer is spreading. As we prepare for the upcoming 2009 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Michelle and her family are sharing their stories with us.

Update from Michelle:

Cancer is a funny thing. It’s ugly, it’s unpredictable, and it’s emotional. My tumor markers were down and now they are showing an increase in size again. I haven’t lost my faith. We are going to continue my chemotherapy treatment and see what my next scan brings. Every day is a precious gift.

I’m sharing this with you because I want you to understand how this disease can change from day to day. We must find a cure!

Today is the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness month. I have to admit, I never really was a “pink” girl growing up. It seemed a little girlie and too bright. Other than thinking the “Pink Ladies” were cool in the movie Grease, it was not on my list of favorite colors (though I did want one of those jackets!). Many years ago, the color pink became synonymous with breast cancer. As loved ones were diagnosed with the dreaded disease, the color took an entire new meaning for me. It meant life, hope and the prayer for a cure someday. When I was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer at the age of 33, the “bright, girlie” color became a part of me (not quite as much as my beloved UT burnt orange, but a part of me none the less). It became a symbol of empowerment. Pink means “feminine” to those of us who face life with no hair, missing breasts as well as internal and external scars. Personally, it reminds me that I am not alone.

Yes, pink is a marketing tool to get your attention. However, this disease NEEDS your attention. Current statistics give a woman a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. If it isn’t already, this epidemic will be at your doorstep at some point in time with the diagnosis of a loved one or heaven forbid yourself. Many have fought and will continue to fight until breast cancer is a concern of the past. I dream of a day that my little niece Kendall is a grown woman with no fear of a ticking time bomb in her chest. I pray our children today will look back at my current treatment and think, “How barbaric!”

Every day is Breast Cancer Awareness for me but this month is special and worth reflection. When we see pink, wear pink, or think pink this month, please remember that awareness, education, and empowerment are three weapons we have to fight for life and wipe breast cancer off the map! Please sign up for the Race today, and if you can, take the 125 Challenge to pay for a woman’s mammogram.

I can’t wait to meet you, your family, and friends and share the magic with you on Sunday, November 1st!

With all my heart,

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