Facing her sister’s diagnosis head on, Kelly Kelly shares why she’s taking action, teaming up and delivering a sting to breast cancer this Race for the Cure season.
I grew up playing sports and being part of teams. I learned through my youth what it means to be a teammate on the sports field. It made me a better communicator, taught me leadership, and how to work hard with others for a common goal. I was not the only athlete in the family. I have two older sisters who both were incredible high school and college athletes. My parents stressed the importance of playing a team sport and the life lessons that could come from team experiences. My parents enjoyed team sports in their youth as well. . They learned the lessons and knew the tremendous benefits. When my college lacrosse years ended I thought that my days as a teammate were coming to an end. Life has a funny way of proving you wrong in some of the most surprising ways.
As previously mentioned I have two older sisters. Both of my sisters have always seemed larger than life to me. They are so strong and provided me with a drive to achieve their same accomplishments. In October 2013, Johanna told me she was concerned about swelling in her left breast and was getting things checked out. I automatically assumed that she is young, healthy, and strong, therefore, in my mind she was fine and it was just had an infection. All she needed was the doctor’s reassurance. Nothing will ever come close to the shock I felt that October day when she called to tell me she has invasive inflammatory breast cancer. Yes, we have a history of breast cancer in our family, but this is Johanna we are talking about! She is dedicated to working out, eating healthy, and is that strong invincible older sister. It really is true what they say, cancer doesn’t discriminate.
Needless to say our family was shaken. We have always been extremely close and we go through everything together. This cancer battle would be no different. As a family we have surrounded Johanna with strength and support. Through Johanna’s experience and diagnosis I have found that my eyes have been opened to the goodness in people. There has been an outpouring of support from friends and family, all of which I never could have dreamed. All of these individuals have wanted to do something for Johanna but were at a loss as to what to do.
Both my grandmothers were diagnosed and passed of breast cancer. We had never been part of the Race for the Cure. With Johanna’s recent diagnosis my mother thought that it would be a nice idea to participate in the event this year. I created a team for our family to join the Race for a Cure.
Through Johanna’s diagnosis it has brought together different groups of people that wouldn’t have been brought together otherwise. The Race for the Cure has brought back that sense of being part of a team for a greater good. We will be raising money through boot camps, yoga sessions, local lacrosse games, and t-shirt fundraising. No matter our age we can still be team members. This is for something bigger than any of us. This team is for Johanna, my Nana, my Nanny and other women who have breast cancer. We are going to walk together on Mother’s Day to help celebrate and honor the power and courage of those who have had breast cancer.
Being part of a team for this event shows the unity our community has for fighting this disease. We will walk as one. If we can all do one simple thing such as walk or run to bring more awareness to breast cancer, we might be that much closer to conquering this battle. Join a team, and join this fight!
– Kelly Kelly
Team Captain, JoJo’s Boo Bee’s