Saturday, March 21, 2009

The 168th good thing about Lagos: Racing for the Cure

I've had quite a number of friends and acquaintenances who have faced a struggle with breast cancer, so almost every year in Houston I would join a very large crowd (it has grown to 30,000 or so) in the Houston Race for the Cure to benefit breast cancer. I always felt a great solidarity with the crowd as we helped to raise money for research to fight this disease. When I recently learned that there would be the first ever Race for the Cure in Nigeria, I wanted to participate here. I wasn't sure that it would be possible with the early race start, because I wasn't sure our driver could get there that early, but it all worked out and I enjoyed the chance to actually walk on the streets in Lagos. Usually it's not a safe thing to do, but there was enough police presence on the race course, that there were no worries.

This first picture is of the US Ambassador to Nigeria welcoming the crowd. Both she and the Lagos Counsel General were present at the race. I don't know how much of the course they actually walked, but it was great that they were there.

There were the usual snacks before and after the race.
This is the group awaiting the start of the race. My guess is that there were 400-500 participants.

The course had some quiet side streets,
and some stretches along a busy road.
Here I am at the end of the race -- I did it! A small portion of the proceeds from the race go to the Susan B. Komen foundation, but a majority will stay in Nigeria to help fund a mammography machine for a hospital for women in Calabar. A much higher percentage of women with breast cancer in Nigeria lose their lives to the disease because they have no access to early detection so hopefully this will make a tiny dent in the need for better health care for women in this country. My hat is off to the dedicated women who worked hard to make this race happen in Lagos!

3 comments:

Lindsay, Steve, Spencer, and Austin said...

way to go mom! I need to remember to try and keep that tradition here too...I have such great memories of doing it with you in Houston. It is such an inspiring race to run.

Valerie said...

That's great that you did that, not only walking, but raising all the money.

L-VII said...

Hello,

I just went through all the entries in your blog and I am rather happy to see all that you have put up. I enjoyed the picture of northern Nigeria. I am pleased about all charities you featured, I often wonder what I'd do with any free time I get when I move back to Lagos. You have given me some great ideas. Thank you for featuring the Makoko community, as a child, driving on the TMB, I often wondered about the water community (that is what we called it then.) Anyway, I like your blog.

L