I don’t know about you, but this Memorial Day was different than so many. I would say ,”Have a great Holiday,” then stop and qualify that by saying that it really wasn’t about holidays and vacations, it was about death, war, and sacrifice. I think that was the tenor of the day so many places, even at picnics and backyard barbecues. Did you see the photo in the PG–the young man, crouched over his brother’s grave, and 3400 pair of shoes surrounding him–shoes representing all the troops killed in Iraq? Yes, it is an unpopular war, even a controversial one. But those men and women who died, and those who continue on over there, deserve our respect, and our prayers. I hope most of us in this country are in agreement on at least that.

Turning to remembering a different kind of hero. I want to go back to Mother’s Day and the Race For A Cure. What an amazing day! Everywhere you turned, there was a survivor, someone recently diagnosed, or someone walking/running for someone lost. I walked for a dear friend of mine–one of my surrogate mothers. She had battled breast cancer in her late 30’s, and had remained cancer free for years. She is now 77, and about a year and a half ago, it came back. Doctors told me that when the cancer is pre-menopausal, that is not uncommon. Madlyn Arthurs is one of the bravest women I know, and she continues to march off to chemo, and get up each morning with hope in her heart. God Bless her. And all those who blanketed Flagstaff Hill that day. Michelle Wright, Andrew Stockey, and Mike Clark did a fabulous job on stage, and below are just some of the people who inspired me.
Teresa Varley, who helped write Jerome Bettis’ recent Super Bowl book, is a nine year survivor. She is an editor for Steelers Digest, and the players adore her. She was there with a bunch of Steelers staff, all sporting special shirts with the pink ribbons and the 75 year anniversary logo.

This is Chloe, and it was her idea to walk with her mother, for her mothers cousin.They were from Beaver County, and the cousin passed away at the age of 30.

This woman literally wore her battle on her breasts. I may have her name wrong, so if you know her, please email me and correct me, because I tried to write down the names in my Treo–without my glasses–I think it is Kaice Ferrari. Whatever, I am sure of one thing–She was a hoot. (Just read her email–the name is Janice–not Kaice)

Again, I think this is Mandy , a 43- year old, one year survivor, who recently had a lumpectomy. She emailed me two weeks ago, asking when I was going to post these, so I hope she sees this.

Now, get out there and get that mammogram. And while you are at it, make sure your husbands, brothers, fathers, and significant others get the prostate blood test. My brother-in-law’s cousin just got a scare, in part because he skipped a yearly check-up. Guys were at the Race, handing out pamphlets, and Robin Cole, a cancer survivor, has been in the forefront of that awareness campaign locally. How lucky we are to have people willing to give back, after their own struggles.

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