Jamie 5K 2010

Like many Americans, I often fail to appreciate the true meaning behind Memorial Day. In our excitement to have a paid day off from work, a three-day weekend full of family and friends, barbeque and beer, we tend to gloss over the somber gravity and reason for the holiday.

My grandfather proudly served in the United States Army and did a tour of duty during the Korean War. As I reflected upon his service and his life, something deeply profound hit me.  He came home from war a survivor, not knowing that it would be a different kind of battle that would ultimately take his life. After several years in remission from prostate cancer, he eventually succumbed to bone cancer in 2001.

The “c word” strikes fear into the hearts of many, and I am no different.  I hate the word, the disease, the pain and devastation it causes and I want it eradicated.  Cancer has claimed not only the life of three of my grandparents, but also the lives of so many friends, including my very best friend, my 17-year old sister, Sara.  Last September was the 10 year anniversary of Sara’s death.  In her honor I ran the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s 5K for the first time.  I am proud to say that “Team Sara” received the top team fundraising award and raised more than $3,300 for cancer prevention and early detection research, education and community outreach.  Cancer may have won a few battles, but I am determined it will not win the war.

Although my first attempt at the 5K last year was quite successful, I am not finished – not by a long shot. This year, with the help of some friends, “Team Celebrate” will be honoring and celebrating the lives of all those we love that have been touched by cancer.  We will be participating in the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s 5K on September 24. Some members of “Team Celebrate” will run the 5K, others will walk, and a few will be cheering all participants on to make it to the finish line – our single purpose: raise vital funds for one of the most noteworthy causes I have ever known. Our team goal is to raise an additional $5,000 for cancer prevention efforts so that not one more person we love will ever need to battle this terrible disease.

Over the next several months I will be regaling you with stories of “Team Celebrate”, highlighting the people behind the mission, our accomplishments, successes and even our failures. We know that we are not alone in our desire to win the war against cancer so we hope that you in turn, will share your experiences with us.

Is there a loved one you wish to remember, honor, and celebrate?  Will you join me, “Team Celebrate”, and the Prevent Cancer Foundation to stop cancer before it starts?  For more information about the Prevent Cancer Foundation 5K, or to register, create and/or join a team please visit www.preventcancer5k.org.

We want to hear from you too. Let me know if you are going to participate in this year’s 5K and why you are running or walking? I will keep you posted on Team Celebrate’s progress and you do the same!