Saturday morning was absolutely gorgeous – a perfect day for a walk around Greenlake. Some Komen volunteers came up with the great idea to do a little “Pink Loves Greenlake” Race for the Cure promotion by passing out brochures and breast cancer awareness items while walking the lake. I thought it was a great reason to get some much-needed exercise. Even better, my seven-year-old son decided to grab his scooter and come with me.
The gals from the Race committee brought hot pink t-shirts for us to wear and hand out, along with messenger bags to carry assorted breast cancer swag. My son has been at every Race since he was three months old, and wanted to be part of the crew. So he pulled one of the pink shirts over his baseball uniform, strapped his candy apple red helmet back on, pulled the messenger bag across his chest, and was ready to go!
He was so enthusiastic, and did such a great job at distributing information – talking to people as they walked by, asking them if they wanted a key chain or t-shirt for breast cancer awareness, then telling them the Race for the Cure is on June 6th at Memorial Stadium. At one point he looked at me and said, “This is really fun!” I was having a blast with him, too.
We weren’t fundraising or taking registrations, we were just handing things out (funny how people assume you want something). My son quickly discovered using the word “free” when asking people if they want a key chain brings much better results. Over the course of an hour we gave out 100 embroidered pink ribbon stickers, 50 key chains, a dozen t-shirts, and countless brochures. We met two breast cancer survivors, several people who had already registered for the race, and some who promised they’d do so when they got home.
By the time we had to leave for his baseball game we were down to one t-shirt and a stack of brochures. He was determined to give away that last shirt before we left, and spotted two women walking toward us. He scooted up to them and asked if they’d like a free t-shirt for breast cancer awareness. One of the women asked me if I was a survivor. I told her I wasn’t, but my mom and grandmother were. She took the t-shirt and thanked him, then looked at me and said “I’m having a mastectomy on Monday. And now I have a pink shirt to wear.” We talked a bit more, then wished her the best of luck and watched as she and her companion continued their walk.
As we drove to his game, my son and I reflected on the number of people we connected with. He thought it was pretty special that we met some women who had had breast cancer like his Nonna, in particular the last woman who was about to have surgery. He asked a lot of questions about cancer treatment and research, and thought it was cool how Komen is trying to find a cure for breast cancer. He was happy that he got to do something to help. I was happy that I was able to share such a great experience with my son.
We’ll probably never meet her again, but I’m sending healing and strengthening thoughts to the woman who’s having her surgery today, from a little boy and his very proud mom.