Day 3 Recap – Bahamas Mission Delegation Trip
Guest post from Neel Stallings, Global Race Ambassador
What an honor it is to be here in the Bahamas working for an organization and a cause I am incredibly passionate about. As a Global Race Ambassador, my work here began last July when I trained an exceptional group of people on the ground to organize their first Race for the Cure. I knew immediately that the Race was going to be outstanding because of the people involved. Now, 6 months later, I’m so proud to have been here to witness the fruits of their labor. The inaugural Bahamas Race for the Cure was executed flawlessly and drew more than 1,200 walkers and runners to beautiful Paradise Island.
In my role with Komen, I have participated in many race events. The energy and enthusiasm in the Bahamas were palpable, and the passion and commitment of both the volunteers and participants to end breast cancer forever was profound. The Bahamas Race for the Cure was a run for some, a walk for others, but for everyone, it was a celebration of life to honor us survivors and remember those who have lost the battle.
The most poignant part of the day for me was being in the survivors’ tent. As a 12-year survivor, I was struck by how many young survivors there were. In the Bahamas, nearly 48% of women diagnosed with breast cancer are under the age of 50, and quite often, younger survivors tend to have more aggressive forms of breast cancer. It gave me pause, and tears welled up in my eyes thinking about the battles and challenges these young women have already faced and in many cases, will continue to face, as many Bahamian women are diagnosed with late stage disease.
My sadness didn’t last very long, as it became clear that we were there to celebrate. A beautiful choir sang as we survivors made our way to the stage to receive roses and special medals. The morning came to an end with a special performance by gospel recording artists MaryMary. As I danced with my fellow survivors and lifted our roses in the air, I vowed once again to continue doing my part to fight this disease and to work with my new friends in the Bahamas for a world without breast cancer.
About the author
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.