By Liz Wright
Member, Communications Committee, Komen Detroit Race for the Cure
Many times in life, where you start isn’t always where you end up.
This couldn’t be truer when it comes to my involvement with the Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, scheduled for May 18 at Comerica Park. As a young adult just graduating from college, cancer had never touched my life. Sure, I knew of people who knew people who had a sister or a father with the disease. I listened quietly, lending a friendly ear and nothing more.
It wasn’t until breast cancer touched my life personally that I felt a responsibility to do what I could to fight this disease. I learned that my boyfriend’s mother (now my mother-in-law) was a cancer survivor and watched first-hand as my aunt fought breast cancer and won. I was, however, not so blind as to believe everyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer survives his or her struggle.
It was then that my boyfriend (now my husband) and I decided to participate in our first Komen Detroit Race for the Cure in 2006. Not only was it a 5K through the city we love, we knew that the money we raised was going to local screening programs, research and education.
When we arrived at Comerica Park, I was blown away by the energy and the buzz in the air — tens of thousands of men and women in a sea of pink laughing, dancing, alive with the promise of a cure. It was also a time to reflect and never forget those that we lost too soon. We ran our hearts out and I made the decision then and there to make this an annual event.
After three years of the two of us running the 5K, we joined forces with friends and family and in 2009, Team Rack Attack was born. Our team was, and still is, comprised of survivors and their supporters. We raise money together, we encourage each other and we are surprised year after year by the generosity of our communities.
We’ve created annual fundraisers that exceed our fundraising goals year after year. I thought I had done all that I could do. Enter the Komen Detroit Planning Committee.
This is the first year that a Communications Committee has been added to the already comprehensive list of committees … and they needed members. I jumped at the chance to become even more involved, to have a voice in shaping the direction of the event. I love the enthusiasm of everyone on the planning committee and I look forward to every meeting.
My path started at a simple road race. Along the way, I found deeper meaning and real purpose through being a team captain and now a committee member.
No matter how you’re involved in the Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, trust in the fact that you will make a difference. Donate to a friend or co-worker who is participating, volunteer during race day or join the Karmanos team and experience first-hand how it feels to truly make a difference.
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is the presenting sponsor of the 21st Annual Komen Detroit Race for the Cure. To learn more about the race and to register, visit karmanoscancer.org/KomenDetroit. You may also e-mail staff at email@example.com or call 248-304-2080 or 1-800-KARMANOS (1-800-527-6266).