And down the stretch they come. Champions, every single one. The very spirit of this blog, giving back and pursuing a dream. In this case, turning a dream into reality. Finding the cure.
The 138th running of the Preakness Stakes is only a day away, but earlier this week some other thoroughbreds took to the track at Pimlico to raise money for a good cause. The ladies pictured at the starting gate, Rachel Freedman, Gayle Tucker Blank and Nikki Hammerman Robbins, were just three of more than 400 people who took part in the Preakness 5-K to raise spirits and raise awareness, as part of an army of pink.
There hasn’t been a Triple Crown winner since 1978, but every day there are winners, warriors and survivors in the battle against breast cancer. The runners this past week actually got a chance to run the first mile on the track, much like the horses will do tomorrow, and much like the race each woman challenged by breast cancer must do everyday.
Breast Cancer. It’s much like a race, a race for life. Out of the starting gate, and you’re off…diagnosed with a disease that makes the very fact you are a woman seem like cruel discrimination. A raw deal. It’s not fair. Yet you have no choice but to keep running. As you round the first turn, you search out strategies to attack the beast, find a path and find your way. At the halfway mark, there you are, running fast, but trying to pace yourself because you start to realize there’s still quite a long way to go. At some point you feel like there is no end in sight. Tests, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, the options are few, they’re scary and they force you to make a choice, to make a sacrifice.
As you round the final turn, you can see the finish line. If you’re lucky, it’s down the stretch you come… toward some resolution and a chance at being cancer-free. You hope you make it, because not everyone completes the race. Some fall behind, way behind and never get the chance to feel the finish line. It’s hard to fathom. Yet even when you do cross the wire, it’s not over, not really. You just finished running the most challenging race of your life, every detail of that incredible journey will stay with you for years to come. Maybe forever.
The 400 + who ran the track and all around the grounds at Pimlico this past week helped raise more than $20,000 for Susan G Komen for the Cure. And there’s plenty more action to come today when Blacked Eyed Susan Day kicks off this morning, with the same focus. The Maryland Jockey Club believes that all women, not just equines, should be admired for their strength. I couldn’t agree more.
They call horse racing the Sport of Kings. Yet, we all know behind every great monarch is an even better Queen. In the world of thoroughbred racing, females, or fillies, are honored for their strength. I should know, my own filly just finished the fight of her life.
A true triple crown winner. My wife and everyone like her. The race will continue for as long as it takes. Til one day, we find the cure.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.