My sisters sorority in UNC hosts a 5K every year to raise money for breast cancer research. This year their run was scheduled to be on Saturday, March 28th. My mom has attended this run for the last three years and when she went to sign up she decided to also sign up to get a mammogram. She wasn't scheduled to get another mammogram until 2017 and her last one was in 2012. But, in lieu of the run, she decided to get one. A week after her appointment she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was in February, about one month before the 5K. Despite her surgery scheduled to be the 8th of April, she decided to run in the 5K. My sister asked my mom's two best friends, her two sisters and their kids, and her fiance to come and surprise her in Chapel Hill. One of my aunts flew all the way from Connecticut to be there for her. I would have given anything to be there, but I had a cheer competition in Myrtle Beach and it was physically impossible for me to make it.
For Christmas my best friend gave me my first giving key. It was a silver necklace that said believe. I never thought I would have a reason to give it away for at least a few years. But I couldn't imagine a better time.
I wrote a long note to my mom saying how much I loved her and thanked her for her love and support all these years. I told her I "believed" in her with all my heart and knew everything was going to turn out alright. I asked her to wear the necklace during the race to feel me next to her heart and believe I was with her. I told her she was the bravest woman I had ever met and was my hero, then left the necklace in a box and wrapped it up with a pink ribbon. I tucked the box away in her suitcase and she found it the next morning right before the run. She wore the key throughout the entire run and never took it off. I can't wait to be there by her side as she stands up after the run next year as a survivor. I'm sure she will still be wearing the necklace then.
April 20, 2015