Walking for a Cure: Liz Russell

” Every one deserves a lifetime.”

I had the opportunity to work with dental practice manager Liz Russell for two and a half years and learned early on that her own mother had died too young from breast cancer.

I’ve had friends who have suddenly discovered they have breast cancer, and  who were completing treatment for breast cancer. That was hard enough to hear. But hearing a woman share about her mother losing the fight to breast cancer, hit me from a whole new dimension, a daughter’s perspective. The tears welled up in my eyes the first time she shared that with me, and again, when we were going over the pictures from her 3-Day for the Cure walk.

Liz and her daughter have run in 12 5K Races for the Cure in Raleigh, and in September 2011, for the second time, they walked the 60 mile Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. Liz shared her photos from the September 2011 walk in Washington, DC (and gave me permission to use them in a blog post).

We scrolled through her pictures on Facebook. Liz told me about the incredible support. The humor. The sense of community. The men who rode motor cycles and dressed up to encourage the walkers.

Men? That’s when the tears began to  fall. I must have imagined that this is just a woman’s disease that we face only with each other. That men would take time to be there moves me to tears. Then as Liz was telling me about it and showing their pictures. And now, as I write this.

Imagine, Liz, a practice manager in her office, and me a contract marketing communications writer, meeting to catch up on news, and sharing these photos – many which I wouldn’t publish on the blog, but which offered smiles. I know these walks have been around for years. My mother, my sister, my sister-in-law have all walked on at least one if not three of them. But that day it hit it home in a whole new way. Liz and her daughter were doing what they could to fight for the lives of women they may still be able to save with community, courage and cheer.

Liz said she AND her husband are going to volunteer next year. They want to be part of this amazing event going forward. It was then that I asked permission to write about this.

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