Last year around this time, I heard about an opportunity for breast cancer survivors to take part in an on-field tribute during halftime of the Broncos game. Now, we all know that, while I was a Bronco fan for many years growing up, my NFL allegiance these days lies with the Colts. However, I love football regardless of the team playing, so was excited about the chance to be part of the festivities! However, a crowded football stadium was the last place my doctor wanted me at while undergoing chemo last year - it's very important to stay on schedule for chemo sessions, and if you're sick, they won't let you do chemo - so the halftime show came and went without me.
This year, I was on it the second the e-mail came out! I must have been among the first to request a ticket, and was thrilled when I was notified that I would be taking part in the halftime show this year! I was told that the show would involve 100 survivors, but not any other details. Who cared? I was going to be on the field raising awareness for breast cancer! When we put in our request for tickets, we were asked to submit our breast cancer "story", and were told that some stories would be selected to be featured at the game. When I didn't hear back prior to the game that my story had been selected, I figured too bad, interesting story, especially since I would be running the Denver half marathon the morning of the game - thought it could be a cool "overcoming obstacles" story. Oh well, their loss.
We were asked to attend a rehearsal the morning of the game, which I had to miss because of running the half marathon. My friend Gina did attend, so I texted her on my way over to the game asking if I missed anything at the rehearsal. She texted back "so cool your story is going to be featured at halftime!" Ummm, what? I started getting excited and a bit nervous!
At halftime, Gina, Lindsay, our new friend Karen and 80 other breast cancer survivors were escorted down to the field to form a pink ribbon the field. I don't care if you're a Broncos fan or not, being on the field is pretty darn cool! 10 feet from the cheerleaders, 25 feet from the players, and then walking on to the field, knowing that you're in front of several thousand screaming fans is just awesome. Seven survivors' stories were chosen to be "featured", which included the announcer reading the story we had submitted and us standing in front of the "ribbon", waving to the crowd when our story was read, which was shown on the jumbotron!!! Even cooler than the experience of standing on the field was all the texts and phone calls Brian and I got from friends telling us that they had seen me on the big screen, and how meaningful it was to see from the stadium.
Here is the story that I submitted, which was read by the announcer: (it was edited, but this is the basic idea)
From beating my previous half marathon time by 2 minutes that morning, to an exhilarating on-field experience in the afternoon, October 17, 2010 will be a day I will remember for the rest of my life. One year ago, round 2 of chemo, lying in bed recovering, bald head and all, too exhausted to take care of my kids, heating pads all over my body to help with the chemo-induced pain, and now today, in the best physical shape of my life, surrounded by people who love me, loving every moment of life.