Friday, September 17, 2010

They Played in Peoria

Promise Me: How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast CancerI wanted to start a little blog for notes as I read through this book ~ the story of how Susan G. Komen For the Cure became a global movement to end breast cancer.  It's been a challenging week following last weekend's 18/15 training walk (that's miles y'all) as I get ready for the SGK 3-Day for the Cure in Washington D.C. in a few weeks.

So after yet another ridiculously long Friday at the office, I came home to find the package from Amazon on my kitchen island, and promptly decided that I needed a bubble bath.  I intended to read the first chapter or two.

I read five.

As you know from reading one of my early blog posts, Susan Goodman (or Suzy, as she was known) was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois.  I grew up 20 miles west of there.  Peoria was "the big city" we'd go to when we needed a mall or a movie theatre.  So some things in the story that don't mean anything to most readers, catch my attention.  For instance ~

Page 11.  The Goodman sisters did a bake sale to raise money to eradicate polio.  They delivered their money to St. Francis Hospital.  I was born there.

You probably know by now that Susan G. Komen For the Cure was founded by Suzy's sister Nancy.  And reading this book I've learned that their philanthropic spirit was in their blood right alongside the family history of breast cancer.

Pages 22-23.  Mrs. Goodman helped bring Girl Scouting to Peoria.  As the mother of two daughters, she was annoyed that the Boys had Scouts and her Girls didn't.  It talks about Mrs. G. establishing Camp Tapawingo.    I can't tell you how many summer camps I went to there.  And yes, I can still sing the song.

Random other thing I didn't know before reading this book ~ The Goodman family was Jewish.

In between the chapters of the book are subchapters... grey pages of extended footnotes and sidebars that tell a story themselves.  A history of how far we've come.  Difficult reads, yet important.  Probably not as difficult as the pages of the story themselves yet to come.  Before even opening the box that delivered the book, I knew Susan's story didn't have a happy ending.

I had to stop for the night at the end of Chapter 5.  They started talking about the 3-Day, and it overwhelmed me.  In 22 days I'll be doing my first 3-Day event.  Although I've trained as much as I can find the time and strength to train, I don't remotely feel ready for it. I'm stressed by things out of my control and I don't have time to get it all under control.

I do know however, that the event itself will change my life.  It already has.
~ J.

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