Tuesday, September 12, 2006

walking to help make a difference

Hello to you all again!
We all know someone who has been touched with breast cancer or some form of cancer.
I know in my family breast cancer is a common word. My mother is a survivor and so are several aunts and cousins. Each time I go to the doctor I wonder if I will be next but have to have faith that all we are doing to help raise money to find a cure is working!!!
Todd who was on my Badwater crew is the brother of Tracy who wrote the letter below, Finlay who was on my crew is her brother in law. Todd and Finlay are always running races for Team In Training to raise money and through all the time, effort and goodness it is rubbing off on other family members as well.
Tracy was such a great follower of this blog during our Badwater journey along with the rest of Todd and Finalys family. There love and support was wonderful.
Please take the time to read Tracys letter below and send it on to others..
"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much"!
I am so proud of Tracy and all the others that will walk on Oct. 27th to help a cause that needs a great deal of love.
Dear Friends,
As you may know, my family was introduced to the war against cancer when my father was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma two years ago. Last month marks his second round of chemo after the cancer made an early, though not unexpected, return. I appreciate everyone’s thoughtful inquiries and continued prayers. Further bone marrow testing this month will determine how effective the latest treatments have been. One thing is for certain, the man I looked up to as the tallest, bravest and strongest person in the whole world, still is.

This has been a journey marked by emotions deeper than I ever thought possible...and love stronger than I ever imagined.
Throughout the course of my father's illness and treatment, my family has been touched by so many amazing people.  We have been blessed and embraced with encouragement, and comforted by acts of kindness and offers of Kleenex on our darkest days. The story of cancer has so many faces. It wasn't until my father got sick that I ever knew how many of my friends, neighbors and colleagues were entrenched in their own battles with cancer. I also came to realize that while cancer stole from some families, it left in its wake larger families -- families joined by their shared tragedies, triumphs and tears. It is for this reason that I am writing this letter. I wish to give back some measure of the help – and the hope—that so many have given our family in the past two years.
Some of my family members have already joined in the fight for a cure.  While my Dad traveled to the best facilities in Tucson to battle his disease, the "younger" men in my family took their battle to the streets--running in a number of 26-mile marathons to raise money for cancer research. While I'm not running a marathon, I am undertaking a challenge of endurance and a journey of inspiration in the hope of giving something back.  I'll be joining the 3-Day Walk here in Dallas benefiting the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The course covers 60 miles from Texas Stadium to downtown Fort Worth. I will be walking in honor of all the families that have stood strong in the face of cancer.  I also hope to return some level of the kindness and support that others have so graciously given to me in spite of - or perhaps because of - the presence of cancer in their own lives and the lives of those they love.
So, I will be walking for my “expanded family” and honoring not only my father, but also the mothers of Finlay Woodruff (Nancy, who lost her brave battle with breast cancer in 1991), for the mother of Mark Reid (Marian Nichols, currently-and courageously battling her third recurrence of breast cancer) and the mother of Todd Forgan (Shirley, who has survived breast cancer and emerged victorious –and gorgeous --as if finding the fountain of youth in her triumph!).  These men have been such an incredible support not only to the women in their own families, but also to the women in mine. They have taught me that courage makes room for tears and that none of us is ever alone.
To all my friends: thank you for your support and concern over the last few years and thank you for your continued prayers for my Dad. If love alone could cure cancer, it would surely be out of our lives forever. Increased awareness means more survivors. I'm taking on this challenge in order to make a difference -- to help find a cure in our lifetime. I'd really appreciate your help.
You may know someone who has been affected by breast cancer and I would be proud to walk in her honor as well. Send me her name and I will boldly print it on my shirt for the 60-mile journey!  For everyone else, please won’t you join me by making a donation at my website below:

Thanks for taking the time to read my letter...will you take 1 more minute, visit my website and help me make a difference.

Huge hugs,
Tracy Milbert Manders

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