It is not often that an experience comes along that is so powerful, so moving, and so hope-filled, you feel transformed by it. The Live Like Renee 5K sponsored by Ovarian Cancer 101 is just such an event. The walk/run was held today, starting and ending at Dowses Beach in Osterville. From the moment I arrived, I sensed that something important, something big, was about to take place.
The atmosphere was electric. Friends were hugging, strangers were meeting and sharing their stories, teams were snapping photos, participants were decked out in teal, often wearing names of those they honored and loved. Children came in hand-painted tees, even dogs were there with teal boas and bandanas. And everywhere you looked there was a sense of hope, a sense of coming together with a common purpose and one voice, to spread the word about Ovarian Cancer, and to support all those affected by this illness.
Diane and Bob Riche, the founders of Ovarian Cancer 101, were their usual powerhouse selves. Bob welcomed us all with a heartfelt, stirring speech. Diane was overseeing everything, making sure we were all taken care of. Renee’s sister spoke of Renee’s legacy, one which was evident throughout the walk, one which is evident each and every day in the tireless work that Diane and Bob do to educate everyone about Ovarian Cancer. They are shining examples of just what living like Renee truly means.
All along the route participants were reminded of why they were there, with photos of those we’ve lost, and those still fighting. With each passing photo a surge of determination would fill us, knowing we were walking for so many, wanting to represent them fittingly. Their faces spurred us on to complete the course with passion and strength, throwing ourselves into our efforts to honor all who we carried with us.
We walked in an idyllic setting, surrounded by nature at its best. Casual conversations, words of encouragement, shared cancer experiences, wagons and strollers carrying children, strangers becoming friends, all sharing the experience together, bring our own stories, hopes, and empathy with us, honored to be a part of this amazing day, could be heard and seen throughout the course.
This is a yearly event that is an example of community and empowerment at its best. If you have the opportunity to participate next year, please consider it. It is an opportunity to make a difference and to connect with people in a most meaningful way. I look forward to seeing you there!
‘Til Next Time,