Monday, September 22, 2008

Heather's Hope: Racing for the Cure 2008

As I write this, I'm still a little sore & tired from yesterday, but it was SOOO worth it! Kyra & I had the privilege of joining my dear sister, my mom, several of my mom's friends, and a whole bunch of my sister's friends & coworkers in the Portland Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure, the largest of its kind on the West Coast, and third largest in the world.

Our team, Heather's Hope, was named for my sister, who as most of you know, was recently diagnosed with extremely aggressive & invasive breast cancer. Her daughter actually came up with the name, and it couldn't be more perfect. In addition, my sister is a great lover of shoes of all kinds, but especially high-heeled ones, so when someone found a Hope shoe statue for her (see below), it was a given that shoes, in some form, would be part of the team as well. By the way, the hats (pictured at the beginning of this post), were put together by Righteous Clothing in Clackamas, and I highly recommend them if you ever need custom logo apparel!

When we first signed up for the race, I decided Kyra & I would do the 1 mile walk, as I knew she wouldn't make the 5k (3 1/2 miles), and I didn't want to throw her in a stroller. Then we found out the rest of the team, including my sister, had signed up for the longer walk. This caused some problems as I knew we couldn't do the whole 5k, without bailing out half-way through. But to be with the rest of the team would be really cool--some 60 people strong at this point.

In the end, Kyra & I, & David, too, it turned out, did the 1 mile walk, under skies that threatened to rain at any moment--thus the matching yellow raincoats :-) After we were done with our race, we thought we might try to meet up with the rest of the team, as their race didn't start for another 30 minutes.

Have you ever been at an event with 45,000 other people, and tried to find someone, or even a bunch of someones? We thought, "We'll just call (my sister's) cell phone", as she promised to have it on. No such luck.

Their race began, and still no sign of them. It turns out the race folks had split the crowd to go up two different parallel streets in order to avoid a huge backlog at the beginning of the race. We walked up one street, mainly in search of some coffee, but also in hopes of seeing them. We found out later they were near the beginning of the crowd, AND they were on the other street. Oh well.

We stopped for some coffee at Starbucks, and then sat on the curb to watch the parade go on, and on, and on, still thinking we might see them. Then we continued to follow the race down Broadway, and let me tell you, to see the whole length of Broadway, as far as the eye could see,just a sea of colors, and people, was pretty overwhelming.

By this time, we'd pretty much given up trying to catch them during the race, so we decided to head back towards the finish line down at the waterfront, thinking we'd at least be able to walk across that with the team.

We made it back to near the finish line--some 7 or 8 blocks, and actually caught up with them before they crossed, which was totally a God thing!!! I got to cross the finish line with my sister in sight, and holding both my mom's and daughter's hands. Then after that, we walked around a little bit at the waterfront, seeing all the sights, and then headed back to the car, and to Beaverton for some yummy Chinese food at House of Good Fortune in Murrayhill.

So our 1-mile walk ended up being a little more than that, but Kyra was a real trooper, and hardly complained at all--I think I griped more than she did! She also got to be a princess up on Daddy's shoulders for most of the walking, other than the race, so that helped :-)

I'll leave you with some snapshots from the day...

Starting the 1-mile walk

The Starbucks stop

Kyra & I with our hero,
my sister Heather,
at the finish line

Some of the Heather's Hope
team members

My mom, Kyra & Kristin

Kyra & her Auntie Hedy

Please continue to pray for my family as Heather starts her first round of chemotherapy this Wednesday.

Blessings friends,