Friday, April 15, 2011

Race Against Breast Cancer

Dear Breast Cancer,

Thanks for making it personal.

Unsincerely,

Jeri

I received some truly unexpected and heartwrenching news the other day.  One of my favorite college professors, and later my friend, had passed away.  We had been keeping in touch regarding my grad school plans and she had written some letters of recommendation for me.  When I hadn't heard from her about the most recent letter of recommendation, I thought it was strange.  After trying to reach her via email, I received an auto-reply message from the Dean of Students.  I learned that her breast cancer had returned aggressively, and she had passed away only a few short weeks after its return.

She was a brilliant and beautiful woman.  A strong feminist, educator, and nurturer.  She made me think and analyze beyond what I thought I was capable of.

I remember the day I saw her in the campus weight room, and she was ecstatic to tell me she had started running, and was planning to do an area 5k in the fall.  I saw her at the finish line that day and she was truly beaming with her accomplishment.

She will be greatly missed by me and many many others.  And I'll be running the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer in her honor.  Let's kick breast cancer's ass, eh?

If you should feel inclined to make a donation towards the cause, please visit my personal fundraising page.

17 comments:

krittabug said...

Oh man. This just made me gasp out loud. I'm so sorry. I hate this story. XO.

Kier said...

Cancer sucks.

Enough said.

Which prof was it??

Jamie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I too know firsthand how much cancer sucks. Running races that raise money to support cancer research is cathartic and definitely a way to help. Hopefully one day there will be a cure!

Katie said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. That was a beautiful tribute to her, I got teary eyed/lumpy throated reading it.

obofanob said...

I'm sorry to hear that Jeri. No words can help you feel better, but from your post, if seemed that your professor cared about YOU as much as you cared about HER. Run that race, let us know when and I'll send you a donation. I've been through a similar thing...and it's one of my soft spots.

Renee said...

So sorry for your loss.

Badgergirl said...

Sorry to hear about your loss Jeri. And I agree. Cancer sucks.

Katie said...

Ooooh friend, I am so sorry to hear this. Cancer is a big fat suck.

Bree said...

I'm very sorry for your loss.

I am doing the Race for the Cure this year again on Mother's Day with my aunt who is a survivor. I will think of your friend that day.

Hannah said...

I am so proud of you for raising money for a good cause. As one of my facebook friends said to me recently, he is proud of me for using my "talents" (nice of him to say about my attempts at running!) for something more than for myself.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Lisa @ Cow Spots and Tales said...

I'm so sorry Jeri; what sad news. I think it's great that you are running and raising money in her honor.

ally speirs said...

Very sorry jerri. It's a terrible disease.

J said...

Oh no! So sorry to hear this. We have a breast cancer walk here in May and since my aunt had breast cancer I will be going.

dietitianontherun.com said...

I"m so sorry to read this, what an unsettling way to find out that a friend is gone. :( Let's definitely kick Breast Cancer's ass - way to take charge, girl.

Nicole @ "Haute Runner" said...

I am so very sorry to hear this. Cancer is mean. I hope we can find a cure in our lifetime.

Susan said...

Ugh, cancer is crappy pants. Used to do some oncology nursing and I hated it. Sorry about the professor. :(

Steel Springs said...

Jeri, I'm so sorry about your loss.