Team WRAL Needs You – A Personal Story about Why
A Note from Team Co-Captain Debbie Tullos
You may have already heard, Team WRAL is up and running for this year’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure! We invite the public to join us every year because we really want to make an impact in the fight against breast cancer.
Please think about making a commitment to join, and ask a friend/co-worker to join with you. The money we raise locally helps local families in the fight against breast cancer.
The deadline to sign up is May 21.
Race for the Cure takes place Saturday, June 9 at Meredith College. Here’s the Team WRAL page where you can register:
In addition, whether you sign up for TEAM WRAL or not (and I hope you will), please take a few minutes to read a very touching story from Gerald Owens.
The Race for the Cure is personal for WRAL-TV Anchor Gerald Owens.
Why the Race for the Cure Matters to WRAL Anchor Gerald Owens
I’d like to share my personal story. For those of you who have not yet registered for Team WRAL this year, I hope it inspires you to re-join this important mission. For those of you who have already joined this year’s Race, I hope it inspires you to fight harder.
People ask me why I so passionately support Komen NC Triangle. For me, this fight is personal. My mother was diagnosed with cancer in the late 80s. An aggressive chemotherapy treatment arrested the cancer cells, so we thought. Her clean bill of health was followed a few years later by a second diagnosis. Only this time, it was too advanced to treat. We tried anyway. The treatment alone nearly killed her. The chemotherapy weakened her considerably. She suffered third degree burns from the radiation treatment. Painful lymphedema in her right arm made the slightest touch excruciating for her.
Her children became her caretakers. We saw this vibrant, worldly woman become dependent for even the most basic daily tasks. We saw her deteriorate before our eyes. Because of her third degree burns, her right arm became gangrenous. The tissue was dead, and doctors decided to amputate. They took about a third of her upper body. We believe she lost the will to live after that. She was gone a week later. The morning she died, all of my brothers and sisters made the trip to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to be at her bedside. The night before, doctors told us she wouldn’t see the morning. But, she stayed alive until the last of her seven children arrived from California.
My story is not unique. Other families are fighting their fight right now. They’re shedding their tears and offering encouragement to the patient, as modern medicine works tirelessly to heal them.
You might feel helpless as you watch a loved one go through this. Getting involved with Komen NC Triangle is what you can do. Raise money for this walk, so science can continue with the major strides they’ve made since 1993, when my mother, Gloria Owens, lost her battle.
Next time you see me on TV wearing a pink tie, consider it my show of solidarity with every family who has been touched by breast cancer.
Please join Team WRAL, make a donation, ask your friends and family to join with you. Our local Komen affiliate funds local agencies helping local families battle this disease.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to seeing you soon at the Race for the Cure!
WRAL News Anchor, Team WRAL Co-Captain