Column: Racing for a reason

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Commentary by Jim Serger

My grandma was 56 when she passed away from breast cancer. At the time, my dad was just 34. I was 10. I valued those 10 years very much. My grandma came to all my baseball and soccer games with her wig on.

I am now 47. My dad is 70. Grandma would have been 92 this year. Breast cancer back in 1981 was not as socially accepted as it is today. It was just swept under the carpet. Let’s just hide it and see if it goes away.

Last year, I ran the Carmel Marathon for a dear high school friend who beat cancer. She was pro-active and received a 3-D mammogram that detected the early stages of breast cancer. On April 22, I will run the Carmel Sprint Triathlon for her.

Erin Lawry, like so many women, was proactive receiving a mammogram. This triathlon is not just for Erin; it’s for all the women out there who think it will not happen to them. Erin, a Boston Marathoner, thought the same thing. She is healthy, eats right, gets plenty of sleep and decided one day to overcome her fear and venture into the mammogram unit and get screened.

So to all the dads, brothers, boyfriends, husbands and neighbors, please encourage those ladies in your life to get a mammogram.

My dear friend Erin is alive and flourishing because she was proactive. Her three boys are so thankful their mom stepped into the mobile unit and got screened. Erin, 47, still gets her yearly checkups, and I am happy to say she is cancer-free after two years.

My grandma had three boys, and those three boys lost their mom at 56. Erin’s three boys have a mom who is so full of gusto and oomph today because she is proof that breast cancer can be defeated. Big E entered the mobile breast cancer unit, and I will cross the finish line for her that Sunday morning.

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