Remembering Emma

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Hi ... my name is George and this is my second Avon Walk for Breast Cancer blog. 

I'm walking in the Charlotte Walk October 26 and 27 in memory of my mother, Emma, who passed away from breast cancer 36 years ago this week on August 12, 1977.  In some ways it's hard to believe that was 36 years ago.  She was only 57 years young when she passed.  I say “young” because 57 is also my age now, and I am fortunate to be in great health.  I feel as good as I did when I was 47, heck maybe even 37!  Okay, I wear reading glasses and I'm growing more forehead than hair these days, but overall  I count my many blessings. 

I guess I tend to take my good health somewhat for granted.  Like recently when I walked into my dry cleaner and the lady behind the counter, who has worked there for years, wanted to share information about an online discount medicine service with me.  She asked me where I purchased my prescription medicines as I glanced down at my wallet to pull out my credit card.  I answered that I didn't take any prescription medications. 

When I looked up, I noticed she was looking at me as if I had suddenly grown a third eye.  "Really!?!" she exclaimed.  "You're kidding, that's wonderful!"  My first thought was, "Hmmm, okay, do I really look like I need to be on medication of some sort ... what is this woman trying to tell me?"  We both sort of laughed it off and continued with our conversation.  

I did ponder the exchange a bit later though.  Maybe a lot of us tend to take our health for granted.  As in the case of my mother, when she contracted breast cancer everything seemed to change so suddenly.  One day she was vibrant and full of life ... a short time later she was gone.  She recognized early on that she wasn't feeling quite herself for some time, but like many of us, she tended to consider it age, diet, or something else. 

Early diagnosis probably could have changed a lot of what has transpired in the past 36 years.  I now have two beautiful college-aged daughters who never got the opportunity to meet their grandmother.  I wish my daughters could have had the opportunity to know her.  They ask me occasionally about their grandmother and I share stories and pictures with them.  My oldest daughter pledged ZTA when she was a freshman.  She told me later that their breast cancer involvement and the fact that her grandmother had died from this horrible disease played a part in her decision.   

I encourage you to walk in the Charlotte Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, October 26-27.  It's not too late to register for this life-changing event!  If you can't attend or would prefer to donate and not walk, let me invite you to donate to my fund raising effort or to any of the other walkers on our 9/64 team.  You can access my donation page here.  I have committed to raise $1800 to support the work that the Avon Foundation does to support breast cancer care, treatment and research in my community.  Any donation would be very much appreciated and no dollar amount is too small to make an impact locally. 

Health can be fleeting ... I'm sure you probably have had a similar experience with losing a loved one.  As in my case, one day my mother was a vibrant, caring, giving woman with a passion for life ... then she was gone.  While the fight against breast cancer continues, early diagnosis is still the solution to success against the disease in many cases.  Regular examinations are key! Listen to your body when it tells you something could be wrong.  A trip to the doctor can make a world of difference – and your donations in support of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer will provide early screenings and treatment for people who are un-insured or under-insured and can’t afford this important step in protecting their health. 

Thank you so much for reading! The more of who walk (or donate!), the more of us survive.