Renee Spero: Why I support Komen Charlotte
Why I support Komen Charlotte?
October was a challenging month for me for several years. I love my birthday- always have- but it is also the birth month of my mother Hattie…and we lost her way too early at the age of 52 when I was only 19. For years I felt guilty celebrating as there is this huge hole in your heart after losing someone so dear to you.
15 years ago I registered to join the Race for the Cure as part of the Bank of America team. I ran with co-workers and my husband and it felt great to know I was among a community of people who were experiencing something similar. I was completely re-energized and we never looked back!
Fast forward to 2019…we now have a team called Hattie’s Heroes. We’ve built a brand and we raise money to end this disease. I’m proud of the team we have formed. We set our goal for the year based on reaching new heights and having a target that is meaningful to us. Last year, we tried something new and sold Hattie’s Heroes candles that raised $2000.00 toward our goal. This year, we partnered with a fellow Komen teammate to host a Top Golf event that also generated close to $2000.00 toward our team goals. We’re partnering with a local business to sell t-shirts and 50% of the proceeds will go towards Hattie’s Heroes. The key for us is to try new things, have fun, build a sense of community, all while raising money.
It has given me a purpose…and a way to celebrate the life of Hattie. This year, we are aiming to raise $15,000.00 for the 15 years we have been attending the race.
But race day is still my favorite. Family and friends join us far and wide on the first Saturday of October. Our team is
made up of adults and children and we have Hattie’s Heroes t-shirts for all of us to wear on race day. Before the race, we take a moment to raise a glass of champagne and sparkling apple juice to toast mom. I still can’t get through the moment without tears, but these are tears of joy knowing how much she would love it. We try to cross the race together as a team and enjoy a good meal together post-race. Having the support of my family and friends has helped to fill some of that hole in my heart – she is with us and I can feel her presence. It’s truly an amazing day!
October is now my favorite month again, and I am proud to say that. I know Hattie is too!