Bob McCarney - Team Captain
I first heard the words 'breast cancer' when I was in high school. My aunt Dawn was diagnosed with the disease and had a mastectomy. I remember that my mother was devastated. In 1977, I heard those words again, Aunt Dawn had a relapse and died in 1978. She was like a second mother to me. Over the years, there have been more that a half dozen people, including some very close friends that I have known, that have had breast cancer.
In 2014, I joined a local gym class. One day, the instructor announced that she was forming a team to walk in a 5-K in Seymour, CT for breast cancer, There were about six men in the class. I turned to the guy next to me and said, "if you do it, I'll do it". We did.
It was probably one of the most rewarding things that I had ever done. There was and energy and excitement to the race. There was a real sense of community as the town turned out to cheer on the runners and walkers. Homes were decorated, music was playing and food was served.
In 2016 I started to bug the instructor about whether she would organize another team for that year's race; but, she didn't. One day I was in our home office, looking out the window, when I saw someone walk by. A minute or two latter, someone else walked by, and then another. It dawned on my that I live in a community of walkers. I approached a few people that I knew and asked them if were interested in forming a team. They were; and, team "Oxford Greens Goes Pink" was born. That year we registered 25 walkers. In 2019 we had 91 people. We won the award for the largest team for the second year in a row.
I think of my aunt Dawn every year during the race. At the end of the race, I walk away hoping that, in some small way, I may have helped someone.