Thursday, January 29, 2009

Remember Kay Yow

I'm sure anyone reading this is now aware that legendary NCSU Wolfpack women's basketball coach Kay Yow passed away last Saturday after a 20+ year battle against breast cancer.  The coverage has been extensive - of both her extraordinary career as a basketball coach as well as her even more extraordinary life and the influence she had on so many people.  So I won't try to rehash any of that as others have done a much better job of it than I ever could.

I have been very moved on many different levels by this.  I still remember the battle that Jim Valvano fought against cancer.  At the time, I even managed to attend the funeral of Jimmy V to pay my respects.  Just recently I paused once again to watch his infamous speech on ESPN during the ESPYs.  As moving as that was, his last address to a crowd at Reynolds Coliseum, which I was present for, may have been even more powerful (maybe because I was there, live, for it).  So this is another legendary member of the Wolfpack Nation to move on as a result of cancer.

I've also been moved because my father died from cancer a few years ago.  In his case, it was esophageal cancer.  He was diagnosed with it in the spring, underwent chemo and radiation, then surgery, only to have it re-emerge several months later.  That was one of the biggest blows as it has like a 90% mortality rate in the first year and we thought he had it beat.  Alas, the cancer succeeded in claiming him within a year's time.  Far too soon.

Finally, I'm moved because I have two daughters who are quite the athletes.  They have been playing soccer for several years already and have now started taking up basketball.  No matter what path they take in life, one thing I can be thankful for is that people like Kay Yow helped to open doors and blaze trails for women to pursue their dreams no matter what they may be.

On Friday, Jan. 30th they will be holding the public funeral for Kay Yow.  Unfortunately, I don't own a pink shirt to wear tomorrow.  But I have made some badges for my Mini to sport tomorrow.  So remember Kay Yow and all the others in the world who may be battling cancer.  And maybe you can even help financially by visiting Pink Ribbon or or some other charity that could use your support.

When Life Kicks Badge

Kay Yow WBCA Badge

Pink Ribbon Badge

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