2018 Annual Health Celebration!!!
Every year since 2011 I've run a race and raised money for charity, to commemorate having repeat spinal surgery, which prevented paralysis in my legs. I call it the Annual Health Celebration, and it is a joy to do. Last year the annual celebration got a dramatic makeover because between November 28 and December 15, 2016 I had two surgeries for a preventative double mastectomy and reconstruction - a difficult decision I made after being diagnosed with the BRCA1 Gene in 2015. The BRCA 1 gene is a genetic mutation which predisposes someone to a high risk for both breast and ovarian cancer. Once you're diagnosed, options are to aggressively screen until an early cancer diagnosis or to have an elective, preventative surgery to remove the risk altogether. We found out about the BRCA gene in my family, when my aunt died in 2011 of breast cancer.
I have to say that recovery from surgery has been like competing in the most difficult, epic battle versus my cancer risk. The one thing that has kept me going is not wanting to lose who I am at my core - an athlete in spirit and mind. As soon as my doctor cleared me after my surgeries, I was slowly pedaling on a recumbent bike. Within four months, I performed with my dance team at the Barclay’s Center. At month six, I started training for my first half marathon. On month 10, I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon with Team Bright Pink. And at thirteen months post-op, I said YOLO and ran my second half marathon in Miami. And ya know what, fam?!?! At this stage post-surgery, I can tell you that taking proactive control of my health status and having a double mastectomy is the best gosh darn decision I ever made. It has given me the strength and courage to confront my fears and reevaluate how much I am giving back to this universe that has blessed me. Not to diminish that my tiny and humble fake boobz look slammin’.
So in the spirit if of keeping the giving spirit going and continuing to learn the potential of my mutant superpowers, I am taking the Annual Health Celebration to sweet home Chicago and will run the Chicago Half Marathon on September 23rd. I am so pumped to cross that finish line just two months shy of celebrating two years of being a previvor of breast cancer.
I am again raising money for Bright Pink, an organization which supports young women like me and my sister, Maithili. I am running for myself, my sister, and especially to honor the legacy of my aunt Meenu Bua, who we lost too soon. Join me in this year’s Annual Celebration of Health, with a generous donation.
MORE ABOUT BRIGHT PINK'S MISSION:
"Bright Pink is the only national non-profit organization focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women.Our aim is to reach the 52 million young women in the United States between the ages of 18 and 45 with our innovative, life-saving breast and ovarian health programs, thereby empowering this and future generations of women to live healthier, happier, and longer lives. "