Monday, September 28, 2015

Life Changing Day at the Race for the Cure

By: Nikki Panico, Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin Executive Director

Pope Francis was in my home city of Philadelphia this weekend. I loved seeing all the amazing posts from family and friends of his visit.  My sister's texted me all the time about the Pope's travels. The past few days I was in my own kind of whirlwind preparing for 15,000 people on the lakefront but in the back of head I was always thinking about the Pope in Philly. I read many of his speeches on-line. In Philly, Pope Francis told the story of Pennsylvania native Saint Katharine Drexel going to Pope Leo XIII, telling him the challenges of her community and the Pope said to her: “What about you? What are you going to do?” The question made her think about her own contribution to the church and changed her life.

“What about you?” resonates with me as I reflect back on the weekend I spent with the most amazing group of individuals I have ever met, the Race for the Cure Planning Committee. "What about you?" These volunteers fostered exactly what the Pope has been saying. "What can we do to make our communities better, kinder, more compassionate and caring? What can we each do to foster our common home?" Well, these volunteers first helped ensure Komen Southeast Wisconsin raised a great deal of money to help men and women in our community who have great needs and burdens on being diagnosed with breast cancer. Secondly, each one of these Race committee volunteers made their own contributions to the empowerment, hope and joy that made this beautiful celebration possible. The time, work, talent and resources so generously invested in the Race were invaluable to its success, and to the over 15,000 spectators and Race participants relying on that one morning to sustain them as they continue on in their own breast cancer missions throughout the year. For all these contributions, I really think that these individuals have done what the Pope has asked -- they have made our community better, kinder, more compassionate and caring. I am honored to stand beside these volunteers. Grateful for their investment in the lives of women and men affected by breast cancer.

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