On November 5, 2017 in the very early morning my sister Nada was one of several family members and friends to make a two hour drive to participate in the annual Save Your Breath 5K Save Your Breath 5K FaceBook, a run to support Free ME from Lung Cancer. It was her birthday.
A few weeks earlier Nada and her daughter Betsy had decided to get together a team in my honor. Pretty nice! The team was named for this blog, Team polepole. And then, t-shirts were made for all eleven team members. Not just any t-shirts, but hand tie-dyed t-shirts with polepolebreathe.blog ironed on each by Nada. Even nicer!
So on that brisk Sunday morning some of us ran and some walked a shorter distance. While we were raising funds for Free ME from Lung Cancer, we were also showing support for the lung cancer community; those living with lung cancer, survivors of lung cancer, and also honoring lives lost. It felt special, much like our family participating in the Komen run in my mom’s memory. Only different. Different for a few reasons. First, our team was participating in my honor. Wow. Second, while there were quite a few runners, there simply is not the same kind of societal support for the lung cancer community. Humbling. Next year I’ll ask that we run/walk in memory of my dad too. We can now see beyond the stigma and understand. It’s important that we try to teach others. Too many are dying (433 Americans per day) because of that stigma. Another reason that day was special? My sister’s birthday of course! I felt honored she chose to spend it in this way. And honored that so many others did so too.
After the race Team polepole had breakfast together. The busy restaurant was perfect for our noisy group. The birthday girl polished off a large platter of strawberry crepes. We’re in the business of making memories these days, and I’ve great memories of that day from seeing Team polepole and cheering on the runners to the breakfast chatting.
A final note – At the SaveYour Breath 5K I met Dave Eid, sportscaster at WGME in Maine. Dave’s wife Lisa is a fellow ROS1der, and Dave is on the Free ME from Lung Cancer Board. Just after my grandson finished the race (beating his mom!), Dave had arranged for us to be interviewed: News interview