Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Joan Love walks for breast cancer researchBy Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
Joan Love, assistant director of Admissions and a breast cancer survivor, hopes others don’t have to walk a mile in her shoes, but instead will walk with her to raise money for cancer research. Love has been participating in the Race for a Cure, a 5K run and fitness walk fundraiser for cancer research in the Metro Detroit area, since 2000, shortly after she finished her own cancer treatment. This year, Love registered her largest team to date and raised nearly $2,000.
“I feel a personal satisfaction that I’m playing a part in finding a cure for breast cancer,” said Love. “I would love to see that if people were affected by it, that there is a cure and they don’t have to go through what I did.”
Each spring, Love begins her quest to recruit team members. Her first team, Team Tortoise, was made up mostly of her coworkers at Oakland. In 2004, Love began recruiting friends and members of her church in Pontiac and changed the team named to Trinity Baptist Church and Friends. She recruited 35 people in 2004, 51 in 2005 and 124 in 2006.
Some of her university coworkers still participate either by walking or through donations.
“I have some people who just know when the Race for a Cure is coming up and they drop by my office and hand me a check. I don’t even have to ask,” said Love.
This year, Love said a personal goal to raise $2,000 and she plans to set an even higher goal next year.
“I’ve had contributions anywhere from $2 to $200. Any amount helps. It all adds up,” said Love. “And the people here on campus have been very supportive.”
Love started participating in the walk just a few months after she completed her cancer treatment.
“The spring after my treatment, I thought ‘You’re going to do this,’” said Love.
In a sea of other survivors wearing pink shirts, Love found a sense of community and understanding.
“People I don’t even know were hugging me and saying ‘We made it,’” said Love, who said the co-survivors, or family members, also find support through the survivors’ community.
Love said she participates each year because of the philosophy behind Race for a Cure. The volunteer-supported event raises money that sponsors research in the area, which could impact Love and many women she knows.
Love is already planning for next year. She wants to have new team shirts designed and raise even more money. In the future, Love would like to see an Oakland University team participating as well.