Ragans Run for a Cure in Race of Life

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RUNNING MATES–(l-r) Captain Irene Ragan and Jennifer Ragan pause after participating in the “Race for the Cure,” a fund-raiser for battling breast cancer.

By Jennifer D. Ragan – 

My mother, Captain Irene Ragan, and I were both overwhelmed with emotion as we went alongside those who were either survivors of breast cancer or family members who were in the race in memory of their loved ones who had lost the battle with cancer.

The annual “Race for the Cure” is a 5K event held in many major cities across the United States to help raise money for breast cancer awareness and research. I have participated in this race the past four years in Portland, Ore., and Denver, Colo. This year was special because my mother joined me in San Francisco for this significant event.

As I looked out over the thousands of women gathered for the race, I saw hundreds of pink hats which were worn by those who were survivors, and up to this point were victorious over their cancer. Others were wearing pink “celebration” signs on their backs with names of family members and friends who also were survivors.

Not only were there pink signs of celebration, but also many were “in memory” signs listing those loved ones who had not overcome their cancer. One I will always remember vividly was on a young woman about my age. The sign said, “In memory of my mother, who died last month.”

As I raced alongside my mother, I realized how lucky I was to have her next to me. This disease has taken many women in my family, and I was reminded not to take one day of health for granted. I realized that this is something that has touched so many of our lives, in our families, our friends, and in our Army.

Not only was “Race for the Cure” an excellent breast cancer awareness and fund-raising event, but it was a time of thankfulness and reflection. I praise the Lord for the blessings he has given me each day and the protections I am not even aware of.

Jennifer is employed by the Golden State Division as youth program assistant and camp program director. She attends the San Francisco Citadel Corps.

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