The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure has raised millions of dollars for breast cancer treatment and research. Now, the esteemed charity is partnering with Miss A to raise $420,000 to end breast cancer. Miss A Chicago wants to recruit 10 readers to raise $200 each to help wipe out this devastating disease. Readers can contribute twice this fall -through the Marathon for the Cure and the Race for the Cure. We will have more details about the race next month, but our readers can still enter the Bank of America Chicago Marathon now by joining the Susan G. Komen team and team captain Alex Sabbag. Sabbag will give runners information on how to raise the $1,000 needed to enter the marathon and train for the event.
Making this marathon more special is getting to know one of the survivors and participants in the yearly marathon, Laura Strutz. I asked her about how she survived breast cancer and what motivates her to run in the marathon every year.
Miss A:What did you do when you were diagnosed with breast cancer?
Laura:I was diagnosed in 1998, so breast cancer was not “mainstream.” I didn’t know anyone who had been through it and there weren’t the runs and events and the awareness we have today. I was single and 35. One of the most profound things one of my doctors said to me was, “It’s not about saving your breast, it’s about saving your life.” So, I put my fate in the hands of my doctors. I listened to them, I did my own research, and I followed my gut.
Miss A: How did you survive breast cancer physically and mentally?
Laura: It was a difficult journey, in both respects. I was very sick; my employer was horrific. I survived with diligent and supportive doctors, love from family and friends and a will to persevere. I survived for the first several years, I really began to thrive about 5 years ago because I found the people that I needed in my life and I began to focus on me.
Miss A:How did you become affiliated with Susan G. Komen?
Laura:I started swimming as part of my therapy. This lead to a friend telling me I should do the Danskin triathlon. That got me started running, sort of…….several years later I met the woman who has become my trainer and dear friend. I started running the Race for the Cure in Milwaukee and have participated ever since, either running or
Miss A:How did you become affiliated with the marathon?
Laura: A few years ago, I was thumbing through a running magazine and saw an ad for a Marathon for the Cure that was being held in FL. I was adamant that I had no desire to run a marathon, but hey, if I were ever going to, a Marathon for the Cure would be it. I discussed it with my running mates, but we decided the timing was not good. Training in the winter in WI presents certain challenges! We opted for a run in AZ that year and I ran my first marathon. Last year, a friend suggested we run Chicago. When I went to sign up, it was closed, but I saw I could still run for a charity. I felt like it was fated to be.
Miss A:Why should our Miss A readers sign up for the marathon?
Laura:Running a marathon is not for everyone. It is a huge commitment in time and takes a toll on the body. If you are a runner and run marathons, or are training for your first, Marathon for a Cure is a great way to pay it forward, to feel like you are really making a difference. If you are a survivor or are in the throes of breast cancer, and you can run this distance, you will feel alive and empowered. You become the poster-child for survivors. You will show yourself and the rest of the world that you cannot only survive breast cancer; you can thrive in spite of it.The support for the event from SGK is amazing! I felt an enormous sense of pride running under the SGK colors. I can’t speak for all cities, but the Chicago marathon is fabulous. There are spectators every inch of the 26.2 miles and the course and course support are
Miss A: Thank you so much, Laura!
Laura:Ella, thanks for the opportunity!!
WHEN: Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 7:30 am
WHERE: Downtown Chicago at Grant Park