PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For almost 30 years now, the Susan G. Komen “Race For The Cure” has raised millions of dollars in the fight against breast cancer.
This year’s race theme is “We Are Family”, which is fitting for a member of the CBS3 family who participates alongside friends and family to honor someone close to his heart.
“Loyal, honest, and oh so tough from the day she was diagnosed in December of 1993. You cry and you get nervous and everything else and it was only one centimeter I think at the time, the lump!” remembers Joe George, a CBS3 technician.
Joe lost his wife Carol to breast cancer in 2001. She was 41.
“When my wife passed away, they were 9 and 12-and-a-half, they did their schooling much on their own. I helped when I could,” said George.
Both girls attended Masterman High.
Now almost 25, Gianna went to Albright College. She’s an accountant, but in college, with her mother and many others in mind, she started the”rugby stand out” — a fundraiser which is going strong to this very day!
“My junior year we started whats known as the Pink Game. We wear shirts custom-made with ribbons on them if they are in honor of someone like I wrote “Mom” on the back of my shirt. Whatever it was then we raise money and donate to the cause,” Gianna explained.
28-year-old Jennifer is recently married and she and her husband Tony are expecting this summer. Jennifer is an Oncology Nurse. Her mother influenced her career choice and how she and her sister were raised.
“At 12-and-a-half years old, after Mommy passed, I asked him if we were going to eat dinner together as a family and daddy took off work for 3 months,” Jennifer said.
“I did 2 months family leave without pay so dinner could be on the table every night!” responded Joe.
So many family stories are still told around the table, stories like their participation in the Susan G Koman Race for the Cure now in its 28th year!
Joe, Carol, and the children had an almost perfect attendance record.
“We’ve been there like 24-25 years, we missed one, she woke up and didn’t feel well, we skipped that one but been to every other one. With the funds that are raised by everyone going towards winning the fight! We’ve come a long way!”
“There is such a difference between their research and the cure, not the cure, but the treatments that were available to my mother opposed to the treatments that are available to my friend’s mothers now.”
And they can see that living proof every year during a highly emotional moment as survivors march down the art museum steps.
The first year this was done occurred during the last year of an amazing life.
“Carol couldn’t make it up the steps, that year, so that’s the part that gets me every year,” Joe recalls.
Their oldest daughter says, “That for me is my emotional moment for the day, but just to see the progress to have worked with the patients, to know all these people, and to know there is even more hope with each step inching closer to a cure!”
“My hope is that it happens because of them and their children.”
No matter how busy they get, no matter where they may be, the George family knows they are part of a much bigger family and they have vowed to continue to do their part every day of their lives.
Especially, “every Mother’s Day.”