Our Inspirations!

The November issue of Runner’s World arrived in the mail last night.  The editor’s letter and a lengthy feature share the loss of one of my personal inspirations, NYC Marathon legend Grete Waitz who died in April of cancer. Was it breast cancer? I am not sure the public will ever know. She and those closest to her declined to reveal the type, and really it doesn’t matter. What is of greatest concern is that this deadly disease took yet another vibrant woman at too early an age — she was 57.

Waitz was an inspiration to me. In my twenties, while she was running and winning each year, I worked for WABC radio, which would cover the NYC Marathon from its remote vehicle. I was fortunate to sit atop this remote studio and watch the finishers. Every time she crossed the line, I would well up with tears, in part because I was not living the healthiest lifestyle and marathon running seemed out of my reach, but it was also because I realized her focus, her determination, her passion, her dedication far outpaced her desire for privacy.  Could I drive through my own apprehensions to stand up for what I believe, to be willing to push through to my own finish line?

While I ponder this, I think of another loss we have had to cancer this week at too early an age, Steve Jobs, who died at 56. Talk about tenacity! As the stories go, his expectations were higher than high and his demands were greater than great, and we have all benefited because of it. He will go down in history as a visionary and a pioneer… and a perfectionist. His drive for the remarkable inspires me to keep going back over and over again.

I believe we can do this thing – beat back this killer that is taking too many of our inspirations at too early age. We too, must be persistent, steadfast, and even dogged in our efforts! The science is emerging to support our awareness. Thanks to the Silent Spring Institute, we have 216 chemicals linked to mammary gland tumor development in animals. http://www.sciencereview.silentspring.org/mamm_about.cfm

Thanks to Theo Colborn’s TEDX organization, we have 850 chemicals identified as potential endocrine disruptors. http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/endocrine.TEDXList.overview.php

When I wonder about the tenacity to make it to the finish line or to create the perfect solution, I look to another inspiration – the young women in the picture above this post. We know now that breast cancer is most closely linked to chemical exposure during vulnerable stages in a woman’s life – prenatal to first pregnancy. These young women have the power to make changes in their lives now and lessen their chances of getting this dreaded disease. They can choose nail polish without the toxic trio and make candy apples with fruit grown organically. They can snipe away at the threads of the web of causality.

It is a new group this fall. Alex and Gabrielle have been joined by Ashley, Heather and Emily. We have been to Expo East in Baltimore together to meet with natural and organic companies working to provide safer products to consumers. Expo East was an eye opening experience for the team – one that has set them on the path for their research. Over the next months, you will find them on our Facebook page with stories and videos of their own revelations. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Protect-Our-Breasts/203549516328523

We hope you will LIKE us and let their future be as much of an inspiration to finish this race against breast cancer for you as it is for me.

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