The OC

I've been to a few of the Get Your Rear in Gear races this year, but (outside of the Twin Cities) none hits closer to home than the Orange County race. Granted, I'm a LA chick, but I'll take some OC if I can get it - especially when I'm just a drive away from some of my favorite people.

College roomies!
It was a nice little preview, as I return on Friday for Thanksgiving. It made saying good-bye a little easier, knowing I was going to see everyone I love by the end of the week.

I love going to races, because I love the emotional energy and connection I make with so many other people that have been impacted by colorectal cancer. From meeting other survivors, to seeing families so impassioned about what they do to honor the memory of someone they lost to this disease - it just fills me up.

And I don't go to these races as a survivor. Obviously I am, but this isn't my race and this isn't my time. I'm simply there  as an employee of the Colon Cancer Coalition doing my job. And if someone happens to figure out what I am, then my cover is blown. But rarely do I play the "survivor" card when I'm in work mode.

The man who stole my college
roommate and married her.
I did have the chance to connect with a survivor at this race, and as she told me her story and started to ask questions, I couldn't help but blow my cover. One-on-one is far different from me getting on stage and ripping open my dress shirt to reveal the big S on my t-shirt. This girl was young, a few months in, and still trying to navigate her way through her diagnosis and treatment. To be able to connect with her on that level, and provide a connection to us as an organization feels right to me. To say to her that I've been through this, that I'm still going through this, and when you think you can't do it any more, I'm here to say you can. It makes me cry just thinking about it. I love so much about what I do, but to be able to instantly connect with someone like that just makes it that much sweeter. I could not imagine what if would have meant for me to meet another young survivor just a few months into my treatment.

Without much effort, I also lured a few of my longest and closest friends to come down. Though not the best place to hang out due to my limited time and availability, it was still so great to know that they wanted to come down and do their part to support me, and to support my cause. I look forward to seeing even more of my friends and family when we have our inaugural race in Los Angeles on May 15th.

You heard it here first, folks! Get Your Rear in Gear - Los Angeles is happening, and I couldn't be more excited. I plan to form a team, should you happen to live in LA (or any of the surrounding counties) and want to join.

And representing San Bernardino County...
So glad to have these girls by my side 20 year later.
And representing the 310...

1 comment:

Steph said...

Love everything about this post! See you and Merrick soon!