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Making Strides

Thursday morning - very very early that morning - I emceed a kickoff breakfast for team leaders participating in the  2011 "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk" in Sacramento. It's the 15th year enthusiastic teams have raised tens of thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society. The walk is scheduled for October 16th at the Capitol, but the hard work of raising money has to start long before that. This event is a way to get team leaders motivated...

I have to say when the alarm went off at 5:30am, I wasn't feeling very motivated. It didn't take long to change my attitude. I invited to the podium a 12 year old girl who lost her Mother to breast cancer when she was just 2 years old.  She's walked every year since then.   Another woman thanked her doctor who made her get a mammogram at 40 even though she insisted she was "too busy" to bother. She ended up being diagnosed within a week. The more I heard, the more I felt my blood pumping - not just with emotion and compassion but also excitement about what this Walk can accomplish.

The Chair-Elect of the American Cancer Society, California Division, Carolyn Katzin explained how the money participating teams raise pays for programs and support for patients and their families so they can "Get Well and Stay Well".  As for the dollars that go directly to research? She told us 44 of the researchers who've worked tirelessly over the years toward their goal of finding a cure have actually gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

I know how a diagnosis can impact someone's reality. I've blogged before about two dear friends who've struggled to battle the disease while still taking care of their young families. On that early morning this week, though, I needed a kick in the pants to remind myself: I should be grateful for an early wake up call. Any day, any number of us could be getting a wake up call of a far more serious nature.

To take part in this year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, log onto:

And go team!!

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