On Saturday, my daughters ran with me for the second year in a row at a 5K at Duke to raise money for the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center called Angels Among Us.
They participated as part of my team, “Maddie’s Angels,” in honor of my mother who died after being treated for a brain tumor at Duke in July 2012. Also on my team — my husband, my niece and many compassionate friends.
To be clear, my daughters are not runners, nor are they early risers, but somehow this is one event they don’t complain about taking part in. A man fighting brain cancer was the first speaker at the race who announced the start setting the tone for what is always an emotional event.
Along the way, there are hundreds of runners wearing T-shirts bearing photos, names and stories of their loved ones — those living with brain cancer, and those who have lost their fight. I couldn’t help but well up with tears behind my sunglasses as I passed each tribute.
It was impossible not to be moved, but possibly the most moving part of the day was seeing my girls wearing their “What Would Madeline Do” rubber bracelets, persevering to honor the grandmother they loved dearly and miss every single day.
They finished red-faced and breathless, eager for a cold drink and a rest. And while to others they may have looked tired and disheveled, to me they looked like little angels …
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.