Tie Your Laces and Let’s Go!

28 03 2011
Don, ever my cheerleader and best friend, holding the sign he made for Amy's Walking Angels in 2008. Photo by Amy Rauch Neilson.

Don, ever my cheerleader and best friend, holding the sign he made for Amys Walking Angels in 2008. Photo by Amy Rauch Neilson.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time on March 3, 2006. And somewhere amid the flurry of tests and results, surgeries and treatments, my friend Mollie Finch pulled off something pretty extraordinary. She organized the very first team of walkers to represent me in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure: Amy’s Walking Angels.

The walk is a 5k, but there’s also a one-mile option for people who can’t go the distance. I thought I’d be one of those people that June day, as I’d started chemo just a week earlier.

My goal was to simply make it to the end of that first mile, Don and all of my teammates by my side, Theo, who was only nine months old, in the stroller.

But somehow, as I approached the one mile marker, I didn’t feel tired. I felt energized. I kept going. And I made it the whole way. I was elated.

There is something so invigorating about being surrounded by people who love you, who are walking in support of you, united in the effort to halt this disease in its tracks.

Mollie’s doing it again — organizing the team for the Amy’s Walking Angels component of the 2011 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday, May 21. The walk starts and ends at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit — we meet there round about 8 a.m. and we’re home by Noon. Sometimes, we stop in Mexican Town for lunch afterwards. I’d love to see you out there.

I’m even thinking of printing matching ItsInTheGenes.org T-shirts this year. It’d be a first for our team. If you’re interested in a T-shirt, let me know at amy@itsinthegenes.org and I’ll see what I can organize on my end.

Who knows what we might be celebrating that day? My first post-chemo scan is today at 2:30. Within a few days, I should have the results that tell me how effective the first three rounds of chemo have been. Please pray for something miraculous and completely unexpected — something beyond explanation. I hope my lungs and lymph nodes are completely clear and that my chemo regimen will be shorter than originally anticipated.

On the way home from chemo last Friday, this very subject came up between my friend Diane and I. I said, “Maybe my regimen will be shorter than we think!” And at the very same moment we looked at each other and blurted out, ‘June 1’ as an end-date! It was eerie and funny all at the same time.

As soon as I know my scan results, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, get your racing shoes on!

For more information and/or to sign up to be a part of Amy’s Walking Angels, contact Mollie Finch at molliefinch81@yahoo.com.

Copyright 2011, Amy Rauch Neilson

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