The New Normal
I come from a tight-knit family. My mom, dad, aunt, uncle, brother, and cousin, Dana, are six of my biggest supporters and best friends and my aunt, uncle, and cousin live the town over from me in suburban Boston. Weekly dinners and holidays together are common when I come home from college, and the seven of us celebrate almost every occasion together. So when my aunt, Carol Kappel, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, chemotherapy and Herceptin became common words in my household and seeing my aunt in a head scarf became the new normal.
Five years later and my aunt is completely healthy, running, and staying active almost every day and still very much a part of my life. She has become one of the most vocal and passionate advocates of breast cancer research that I know and lives her day-to-day with a love for life that only tragedy and survival can provide. While she continues to count her blessings, I do as well, for I know that many nieces, nephews, grandchildren, sons, daughters, husbands, and wives across the world are not as lucky as I.
I decided to run the Spartan Race at Cornell to raise money for Sharsheret with a group of my Alpha Epsilon Phi sisters. Sharsheret is one of our national philanthropies, helping women like my aunt find support while they battle breast cancer. My aunt has been my biggest cheerleader as I train for the race on September 5th and I am so proud and honored to run it for her.