Monday, September 13, 2010

Save the Girls!

Patricia Nolf speaks about the PRT.
My alarm started ringing before seven on Saturday morning. After hitting the sleep button three times, I stumbled out of bed.

"I want to pick that thing up and throw it against the wall," I told my husband, who nestled deeper in between the sheets. As a teacher, he wakes up around five in the morning, so I'm betting he was smiling on the inside that I had to get out of bed before him for once.

Even as excited as I was to help out at the Pink Ribbon Trailblazers walk, run and bike event, getting up earlier than I normally do on a weekend did not appeal to me. But as I listened to the oldies on the car radio, my attitude changed.

Forty-five minutes later, I pulled into the library's grassy lawn in Oxford. I was surprised to see it already set up to resemble a Pepto Bismol ad. I had actually arrived five minutes earlier than what I was told. But not to fear, the auction was heating up and there was plenty to do. Donated items of golf gift baskets, fruit, jewelry and even bikes were on display for auction.

The Trailblazers goal is to provide free mammograms for underserved and uninsured women. The raffle and auctions all help raise funds. And in the past three years, the group has raised more than forty-thousand dollars. After helping women sign up for items, and attempting to start bidding wars, the program began.

While there were many survivors at the event, one woman's speech made me stop what I was doing. She spoke about how she had to decide if she was going to make house payments or health insurance payments. She chose her house. And when she got cancer, her twelve treatments of chemotherapy cost seven thousand dollars each.

A few more speeches followed, and then the athletes started stretching for the event. What I love about the Trailblazer event is that it is local. After volunteering in Oxford a few times now, the community involvement is inspiring. Husbands supported wives and women supported each other.

Talking to Patricia Nolf after the event, her enthusiasm is contagious. But it's when she talks about her own battles, that I really admire her efforts. Pat has battled breast cancer, and lung cancer twice, telling me, "It will come back." She states this matter-of-factly. But she doesn't worry about it. Instead, she keeps fighting. And what an inspiration that should be to us all. We may not always have control over our circumstances, but that doesn't mean we give up.

This year's event may be over, but donations are always accepted. Check out Pink Ribbon Trailblazers.

1 comment:

  1. 'Morning Valerie, What an endearing article. I enjoyed talking to you and listening to a few of your comments suggesting items for bids was a bargain in and of itself. One thing I'd like to comment on: the two seperate rainbows which appeared when I was speaking. To me, one represented our committee woman, Linda Stanis, who lost her life to breast cancer three years ago. The second one looked like lips smiling--that was either Kathy Luby or Fran Werschler, both breast cancer women who also died of breast cancer.

    Thank you for coming into my life. See you on the Trail!