Strides In Kalamazoo - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at - 253828

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Strides in Kalamazoo 
Oct. 16, 2011 5:35 pm 
Updated: Oct. 18, 2011 3:48 am
If I had to make a guess, the number would be 5,000. That’s 5,000 people that turned out to participate in the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk that took place in Kalamazoo on the 15th. It was a partly sunny but cold and windy day and those folks could have turned tail to get out of the bitterness. But they stayed and celebrated the fighters, survivors and caregivers. The positive energy was permeating the crowd and strangers were embracing and congratulating each other for having beaten the beast or thanking a caregiver for the sacrifices and encouragement during the healing processes.
Community support was very evident with the number of sponsors of the event, the use of private and public for profit parking that was waived and a huge police presence to assure the safety of the walkers. EMS also had a heavy presence.
I carried six names of those I was walking for. Sherry and her sister Denise, both our nieces, who contracted breast cancer in their mid-thirties. (So much for the new standard for mammograms.) Lena, who became infected at age 88 and joined the survivor roles. Finally, there is Lisa who I have only read about. She’s the daughter of Candice who posted Lisa’s story here on AR a few weeks ago.
I also wore two names of fighters that could not win their fight. Ethylind, my grandmother, who perished in 1949 when there was absolutely no hope for treatment- let alone recovery- and Bonnie, a friend, who died just months before some important breakthroughs in treatment were made available.
This is the first time I have attended a breast cancer event but I will attend as many more as my life will allow. I went into the event feeling fine and when I left I felt that something in me had been made better. These events are still scheduled in many parts of the country.  
When I was at my daughters house, a few weeks ago, my granddaughters gave me a pink wristband to wear. Their eyes showed a certain amount of anxiety and I suspected they may have been somewhat scared, also. I wanted to give them some reassurance, but with cancer there is none. Just pay attention to their bodies and know what it feels like. I pray that medical science will discover anything to promise them that they will be alright.
As for that pink wristband? It hasn’t left my wrist since they gave it to me. It has the message “Together we will find a cure.” I wear it on my right wrist where it is constantly entering my field of vision as well as the vision of those I’m around.
It was a week ago, I was at the mall. I had a pink shirt on and the wristband. I noticed five other men wearing pink, also. Strangely, I did not see even one woman  wearing pink.
10/17/11 Update: Be sure to read Ellenmoriah's entry. ...<  ... She has given an inside peek at some things that weigh down a cancer fighter. Also, Stacey has an entry about the discovery of cancer in her. ...<
They came with young legs.
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They came with sore legs.
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They came with failed legs.
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They came with four legs.
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With a single purpose...
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To declare their unity...
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To stop a killer.
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Oct. 16, 2011 7:13 pm
Good for you, Mike!! I'm proud to know you!! I hate this disease and I hope they can find a cure...I just don't really know what else to say about it.
Oct. 16, 2011 8:28 pm
good job mike! cancer is a KILLER, folks must stay aware!
Oct. 16, 2011 9:19 pm
Excellent message Mike! You would think All women would have a pink T shirt. I wonder how many are made in the USA? HUH, I will have to find one and Buy it! WTG and thanks for standing up, wearing Pink and Walking for all of us! Cancer knows no bounds and Must be STOPPED! God Bless anyone who reads this. Your Granddaughters are so Lucky to have a grandpa like YOU! High 5 Friend:)
Oct. 17, 2011 8:34 am
Thanks for this very important message Mike. I always tell my husband that it takes a REAL man to wear pink proudly. Good Job Mike!!!!
Oct. 17, 2011 11:20 am
Thank you, Gary! There's still walks in Georgia. Maybe you and Clair could find one and at least take part in the ceremonies. If Clair can stand to walk, then by all means, do it! It will be one of your favorite memories!
Oct. 17, 2011 11:28 am
Hi, Patty Cakes! Visit your closest cancer care center. I'm sure they have some for sale. ... Hint: Buy a tee shirt and a sweatshirt and wear them shopping. Breast cancer is a worldwide problem so, to me, it doesn't matter where the shirt is made.
Oct. 17, 2011 11:33 am
You're welcome, Julie! Pink is only a color. Wearing pink is not a male or female thing during October. It is a statement about unity among all people to kick the "Big C" out of our lives.
Oct. 17, 2011 4:25 pm
Very nice, Mike! My mother is a survivor of breast cancer. I have not ever attended one of these walks, but am now thinking I should. The high school I work at participates in Volley for a Cure. That's where the volleyball team plays another participating team and all proceeds go to research to fight this awful thing. Such awareness is a big step toward cure!
Oct. 17, 2011 4:49 pm
There's a walk in Canton on the 23rd and another in Columbus also on the 23rd, Mother Ann! I promise you will have a great memory!
Oct. 17, 2011 4:55 pm
Great blog, Mike! Very sweet your granddaughters gave you the wrist band. You walked with a purpose with those names close to your heart. Gallant! Love the pix about "legs".
Oct. 17, 2011 4:57 pm
Just realized you live by Kzoo! Was up there 2 weeks ago to visit stepson going to Western!
Oct. 17, 2011 5:29 pm
Great blog, Mike. More and more men are becoming active, wearing pink, walking, donating, and sponsoring events. I dare say that no one in the US doesn't know someone affected by the disease. Thanks for you advocacy.
Oct. 17, 2011 5:55 pm
Gallant, mickdee? Maybe. More than likely it's a way to communicate how vicious this horrible disease is. ... Western is a great university! I hope he can enjoy his stay there.
Oct. 17, 2011 6:05 pm
Hi, BigShotsMom! I have photos of the crowd that shows there were very any men in attendance. Only some were wearing pink, though. There were several very young boys wearing tee shirts with the message, "I (heart) Boobies". Don't know how I feel about that but I am an old relic so... My attention has also been drawn to the "More Birthdays" campaign of the American Cancer Society. If there should be an event with that theme, I believe I would participate.
Oct. 18, 2011 3:18 am
Unfortunately I'm going to be in my other kitchen on the 23rd - it's our annual field trial at the "dog club", or I would gather up a friend or two and head to Canton. I'll be elbow deep in pulled pork, Italian sausages, soup, and pie!
Oct. 18, 2011 3:48 am
Thanks, Laurrie! And you deserve credit,also. While Bob was in treatments, you had to take over all the household as well as doing things to keep him comfortable and alive. On that, good friend, I am happy to say I am proud to know you too!
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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Battle Creek, Michigan, USA
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Climax, Michigan, USA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog.
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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