Miami’s Parade of Pink inspires cancer fight

By Suzell Rodriguez….
(The following piece was written by a staffer who is a cancer victim’s friend and participated in Miami’s recent Komen Race for the Cure).

On a perfect autumn morning, more than 20,000 men, women and children flocked to Bayfront Park October 16 to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Miami- Dade County.

The annual event marks October as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” engaging an entire nation in raising funds for cancer research.

From pink garbage trucks to pink potato chip bags (and football players donning pink gloves and cleats), a plethora of pinkish hues surrounded race participants, reminding all South Floridians of the need to support the global campaign. Marking its 15th year in South Florida, the Komen Race has also become an emotional occasion as families and friends of both the afflicted and cured create a ‘sea of pinks’ flowing through downtown Miami streets.

All who could ran, walked (or did a little of both) in their support of breast cancer research also honored more than 1,000 breast cancer survivors, each of whom was presented with white roses and, at a designated finish line, received a medal symbolizing their achievement.

Original t-shirts and signs with clever slogans and fun designs were proudly displayed throughout the course by runners, walkers and even babies pushed in strollers, many in support of someone affected by breast cancer. Signs pinned to t-shirts affirmed that the wearer walked for a mom, wife, grandmother, aunt, sister or friend; others personalized shirts to proclaim they ran for “Nana”, for ”Iris” or “Maggie” — and in my case, for “Marcy,” 29, easily the “life of our party” of Komen Racers.

Diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in July, Marcy has undergone continuing treatment but with the immense support of family and friends, has survived this difficult time with a smile on her face, one that seems permanently imprinted as an inspiration for us all.

Joined by an entourage of supporters and sporting a pink wig, Marcy led her pack with the conviction that all brave women battling breast cancer understand so well, i.e, surviving ‘one day at a time’ inspires all who fight breast cancer for survival.

Even for the strongest, inspirational support of family and friends becomes equally as powerful as a chemo-therapy treatment, and witnessing the thousands of people in pink on that Saturday morning only proved how that support has so moved all Miami, too.

The South Florida chapter of the Race for the Cure website impressively displays the monetary support donated to the foundation through the event whose participants had the choice to run, walk or even “sleep in” to aid the search for a cancer cure.

Funds came from every outlet possible, including corporations (large and small), teams of family and friends, mom and pop shops, co-workers and even single individuals. Their combined efforts helped raise more than $500,000 to support cancer research.

And regardless of where a donation came from, all of us ultimately serve the same team — the one that wants to stop breast cancer forever.

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