“There are women fighting for their lives, and every single one of them matter.”
– WRAL-TV Assistant News Director Aysu Basaran
Yesterday we heard from a number of CBC employees, their family and friends who ran or walked the 2016 Triangle Komen Race for the Cure with Team WRAL on Saturday, June 11. Today we share more from the employees who came together to remember, to revel and to help find a cure.
Team WRAL had two extra-special members from among CBC employees. WRAL.com Director of Content Jodi Glusco and WRAL-TV News Producer Carol Watson are both breast cancer survivors. In yesterday’s Capcom story, Glusco shared her thoughts on marking her second Race for the Cure as a survivor. Today, we share Watson’s thoughts on commemorating her own victory at the 2016 event.
I ran in the 2016 Race because I’ve done it before and it’s one place where I don’t mind being identified as having had breast cancer. The feeling of support and camaraderie is tremendous. The sense of there being something greater than you is at times moving and overwhelming. And I always meet someone who needs to share their story, and the bond we instantly share is powerful. One feels as though one could do someone else some good by listening and encouraging.
Watson’s daughter, Liz, ran with her. Liz was in first grade when Watson waged her battle with breast cancer.
“She’s been my stalwart supporter,” said Watson of her daughter.
The mother-daughter pair fully enveloped the event.
“My daughter and I only took a few selfies, wishing instead to soak in the event and experience the moment,” said Watson.
They enjoyed the spaciousness of the new venue, The Frontier in RTP. As for the extreme heat, their answer: “Lots and lots of water, the answer for handling the heat. The WRAL team caps (we both really liked that they were running-type caps and not baseball caps) and the cooling sleeves (even better when wet) were helpful in beating the heat.”
Bridging the Distance
Sunrise Senior Account Executive Kristine Smith also joined Team WRAL at the 2016 Triangle Race for the Cure as a celebration. She lives and works for CBC in Wilmington but has been coming to Raleigh event for years.
“I have a very dear friend Lavonda Howard that is a survivor,” explained Smith. “I drive up every year to participate in the race and celebrate her victory and honor those that have passed or are currently battling the disease. I ran it again this year with my best friend, Sarah Conrad who is also good friends with Lavonda.”
Smith loved the new venue, especially appreciating that the hills were not as bad as the route in Raleigh.
“I also love that there is always such huge community support and REALLY appreciated the bystanders cheering us on and squirting us with water guns!!” said Smith. “That was very welcome in the heat. I also appreciated that so many vendors had water ready available and there were so many water stations. That is a big plus in hot weather races.”
WRAL-TV Assistant News Director Aysu Basaran, an avid runner, also appreciated the course being relatively flat, but longed for the community feel that the residential areas around Meredith created.
“I really missed running through the neighborhoods and seeing the support of the public,” she said. “I missed the people cheering on all of the runners and holding up signs. There was some of that, but not like in the past.”
Battles Won and Battles Lost
Basaran had two special reasons for participating.
“I ran the 2016 Triangle Race for the Cure for my mom,” said Basaran. “She is a breast cancer survivor and probably the toughest cookie I know. My mom beat breast cancer and ovarian cancer, but it was no small feat. She carries the scars of years of surgeries and treatment. She’s fearless! I run for her, the most amazing woman I know.”
Basaran ran the competitive 5K with her teenage daughter, Olivia Kaczmarek
“Both of her grandmothers are breast cancer survivors,” explained Basaran of her daughter. “While we run for them, in a way, we run for what the future might hold for us and other women like us.”
In addition to wearing the names of both her mother and mother-in-law on her back, Basaran’s tribute badge also included another name.
“My friend and former coworker, Heather Pick, died after her second battle with breast cancer,” explained Basaran. “She was an anchor at WBNS-TV with a beautiful family; she was an unwavering champion in the fight against breast cancer. There are women fighting for their lives, and every single one of them matter.”
WRAL-TV Studio Broadcast Engineer Tony Gupton and his wife, Sheri, also ran with Team WRAL to honor a fight lost.
“Sheri’s mom died just a few months ago from breast cancer, on January 20, at a very young age,” explained Gupton. “Sheri raised almost $2,000 in the past month and the Komen project has helped her fight back against this horrible disease.”
Gupton said that the Race for the Cure was cathartic, helping to pay tribute to his mother-in-law.
“Saturday’s event was very personal and emotional for us and the heat and location was not a factor,” he said. “Losing Sheri’s mom to breast cancer has left our family lost but participating Saturday with thousands of others was a blessing in the healing process.”
One More Story
Several other CBC’ers spoke to Capcom about their experience at the 2016 Triangle Komen Race for the Cure. Stay tuned to Capcom tomorrow for a third and final story about running together and new beginnings.
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Carol Watson, Shelly Leslie, Aysu Basaran, Tony Gupton and Sunrise’s Kristine Smith for these capcom photos.
Look Back at Yesterday’s Story