Rodney Long: My Race for the Cure Story

We are celebrating the 7th Anniversary of my wife, Judy’s, breast cancer diagnosis and successful treatment!  Early detection is the key, my friends! Because Judy was diagnosed early, we had more treatment options and the outcome was successful.

Not everyone is so lucky and Komen Charlotte provided access to diagnostic tools that some cannot afford. In addition, Judy and I found that the Komen website contains information that helps one understand what to expect as they progress through the treatment process. We also found that the Komen Charlotte community is very supportive, and the survivors really look out for each other.

The first Race for the Cure we participated in was after Judy was treated in 2013. As we stood in Marshall Park and watched the sunrise, I could see the tears start to well up in Judy’s eyes. From out of nowhere, two little ladies suddenly appeared and took immediate control! They escorted her to the survivors tent to get hat, pins and other paraphernalia and told me that they “had her and to go run the race.” As the sun rose and you realized what a sea of pink you were in, it really was impressive. Race for the Cure is special to us as a way to celebrate and hopefully provide help for others.

When it came to fundraising, I started thinking of ways to do more than just pay the fee to enter. I found a pink kilt online and shortly afterwards, I found my running shoes in pink. I had the idea to challenge folks to donate to a level where I would wear the pink kilt in the race once I reached my goal. I quickly surpassed that first goal and raised it to its current level of $10,000. I also have participated in the Duke Energy team bake sales (as I make a pretty good pound cake) and have seen those auction for as much as $100 per cake. When it comes to ideas to raise money, be creative and step out of your comfort zone.

This year, I am again donning my pink kilt and my pink Mizunos for the Komen Charlotte Race For The Cure on October 5th to help raise funds for those who are facing breast cancer. Since I began my fundraising leading up to the Komen Charlotte 2014 Race For The Cure,  I’ve raised more than $38,000 to help those who may be less fortunate than us and do not have access to the screening and diagnostics that helped Judy win her fight. It is only through the generosity of those who have supported me that we have been able to make this impact.

While Judy was going through her journey, I sat on the sidelines as she endured surgery and radiation treatments.  It is now time to once again get up off the bench and back into the fight.  You’ll recognize my racing attire, which I wear to stand out and make sure that this is not a “normal” 5K.

If I achieve my goal of raising $10,000 (by October 4th) for the 2019 Charlotte Race For The Cure and not only will I wear my pink kilt and pink Mizuno racing shoes, but I will DYE MY HAIR PINK for race day!

Let’s Win This Fight!