Saturday, February 9, 2013

Running For Cancer

5k Run for Prostate Cancer

            I stared at the front of Caitlyn’s t-shirt for several seconds before the shirt’s message registered. 

            Did Caitlyn run a 5k for prostate cancer?  Is her dad sick?  Does she know what prostate cancer is? Do any of the 6th graders know what it is?

            “Hi Caitlyn.  Cool t-shirt.  Are you a runner?”

            “No.  My older brother Jack gave it to me.  It’s too small for him.  He’s in high school.”

            “Oh.”  I casually nodded my head wondering whether I wanted to go any farther.  “So Jack’s a runner?”

            “No.  His friend David gave it to him, but Jack said he won’t wear it.  It’s too small.” 

            Jack’s not as nice an older brother as you think.

            I continued my slow, nonchalant nodding. “Uh, that’s a cute color.  It goes with your red pants really nice.  Did your mom help you put that together?”

            “Nope.  She’s out of town.  I did it myself.”

            “So, is David’s dad sick?”

            Caitlyn smoothed the front of her t-shirt, obviously proud of it and feeling pretty wearing it. 

“No.  David’s dad isn’t sick.  But I think his uncle makes these shirts for the posture cancer runs.”

            “Posture cancer?”

            Caitlyn touched her finger to the lettering on the front of her t-shirt.  “Yes.  Posture cancer.  That’s why they had the race.  For posture cancer.”

            “Caitlyn, your t-shirt says ‘Prostate Cancer,’ not ‘Posture Cancer.’  P, r, o, s, t, a, t, e.  Prostate.”

            Caitlyn tucked her head down and tried to read the writing on her shirt upside down and backward.

            “P, r, o, . . .”  She looked up at me grinning.  “It’s hard to read.”

            “Yeah, it is.  But it says ‘Prostate Cancer,’ not ‘Posture Cancer.’”

            “What kind of cancer is that?”

            “It’s a kind of cancer that men can get.”


            The bell rang, and Caitlyn walked happily off to PE.

            That afternoon I noticed she was now wearing her PE t-shirt. 

            I wonder what Caitlyn’s mom says to Jack when she gets home.

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