NEWPORT BEACH – Robin Pollok would not be a same though a Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for a Cure.
And a gift event, that turns 25 today, wouldn’t be a same though her.
Pollok competence be a Race for a Cure’s many tangible voice. She’s been singing dual distinguished songs during a eventuality each year given 2000.
She kicks off a competition with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” always in front of a sea of breast cancer survivors and family members and friends and others using or walking or being pushed in a wheelchair in a gift race.
Then she runs to a opposite theatre to sing a strain honoring thousands of survivors – and a memories of those taken by breast cancer – who accumulate on a stairs of a Pacific Life building. The second balance changes from year to year, though a suspicion is always a same: to offer reverence to a recovering powers of persistence and resilience.
This year, her reverence will be “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. As always, Pollok will sing to a survivors and a fighters and those entering a battle.
This is my quarrel strain …
Pollok, happily married during 53 and lifting dual teens, is battling breast cancer.
The recurrence, detected in February, is her third hitch with a disease.
Pollok was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991. After deviation and chemotherapy, and dual reconstructive surgeries, she remained cancer-free until a regularity in 2014. That time, there was some-more deviation and chemo, and in Jan 2015, a double mastectomy. She suspicion she had beaten it again.
But a CT indicate early this year reliable what an painful pain already signaled: Her aged rivalry had not left away; it customarily shifted to a opposite side of her body.
Pollok seems unfazed.
She still performs with a rope when she can, many recently with a funk-rock organisation Project Tru.
Having left by so many already, Pollok total she can understanding with anything.
“I consider I’m improved during doing things and reckoning out a approach to overcome them.”
… take behind my life strain …
In her 20s, Pollok sang nightly in one rope or another, personification venues around Orange County. They did covers and a few originals.
At 27, she was laid off from her day pursuit as a secretary in a aerospace industry, and bills were tough to pay. But she sang on, handling her possess band.
That’s a year she met Scott Pollok. Three months later, she met cancer. A pile in her right breast incited out to be malignant.
Pollok suspicion her new beloved would leave. But he stranded around, assisting to helper her by a disease. They’ve been married 22 years.
Pollok was shocked, scared, frightened. Back then, breast cancer wasn’t as good understood, or discussed, as it is now.
But she kept singing, and holding village college classes to get her associate’s grade in music. And twice a week for 6 months she entertainment from Huntington Beach to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for her chemo.
… infer I’m alright strain …
Pollok became concerned with a then-new Susan G. Komen Orange County, a internal bend of what is now a worldwide classification that raises millions of dollars for research, education, screening, diagnosis and support programs associated to breast cancer.
The Race for a Cure, hold annually in September, is a organization’s many high-profile open event. Pollok was on palm in 1997, to front a blues-rock rope called Room 105, one of several bands that volunteered to perform and hearten on a runners.
The rope played during a mark “deep down in a middle” of a course, she says. A integrate of years after they changed to a behind of a flatbed truck, during a start line.
But some-more stirring for Pollok was being asked to sing a inhabitant anthem. She could – and can – belt.
“If you’ve never listened her sing, it is like somebody touches your heart muscle,” says Jane Hill, a breast cancer survivor given 1991 who serves as financial manager for Susan G. Komen Orange County.
“She is customarily bringing 100 percent of herself.”
Room 105 eventually pennyless up, and a rope stopped personification a race. But Pollok kept entrance back, solo, to sing a anthem.
The many noted year, not surprisingly, was 2001.
The 9/11 attacks were still a tender wound, uninformed in everyone’s mind and heart. And emotions, during an eventuality that’s already an romantic gathering, were high.
Pollok blew out a speakers.
… Can we hear my voice this time? …
She gets crow bumps each year, singing to such outrageous numbers for such a outrageous cause. Pollok looks out during a throng – so many of them in pinkish – and sees some fidgeting. But most, she notices, mount with palm over heart.
That gets to her.
“I always feel absolved since of this nation and what it stands for.”
Pollok customarily performs “The Star-Spangled Banner” during a Race for a Cure. But she does it twice a year; during 7:15 a.m. to flog off a start of a 5K for critical runners, and again dual hours later, when a some-more resting run/walk gets started.
The Polloks changed to Hawthorne years ago to be closer to her now-deceased parents, and a early start time for a initial anthem means spending a night before a competition during a circuitously hotel, with her father and dual children, now 16 and 13.
An alto, Pollok creates certain to get off to a good start by floating a singular note on her representation siren – an A – before rising into a anthem.
“If we don’t start on a right note, in a right key, it can be unequivocally difficult,” she says of a severe song.
“And, for God’s sake, don’t forget a words.”
Pollok hasn’t yet.
… I’ll be strong, I’ll play my quarrel strain …
As relocating as a anthem can be, a emotions unequivocally upsurge when Pollok sings a second song, a one that’s a reverence for breast cancer survivors. That’s customarily between anthems, during 9 a.m.
All a survivors are given roses. And they’re saluted for a series of years they have continued after being told that, perhaps, they couldn’t. The choice of reverence strain changes from year to year, though a thesis is always a same – survival.
The 2014 competition was hold when Pollok was in a midst of her second hitch with breast cancer. Chemotherapy had taken divided her waist-length, auburn hair. No matter; she greeted a throng in a pinkish wig.
Halfway by “Warrior” by Demi Lovato, she pulled off a wig.
The throng gasped, afterwards cheered.
“She was as dauntless as could be,” Hill says, choking adult as she recalls a moment. “It was display that she’s a warrior.”
The cancer this time has invaded a lymph nodes in Pollok’s left underarm and arm and chest wall. It’s theatre 3, advanced, triple negative. All of that means common diagnosis is ineffective.
So Pollok takes her medicine like a man. Literally. Several times a day she swallows a tablet called Xeloda, that typically is used to provide prostate cancer.
The Xeloda done her deviation diagnosis some-more intense, ensuing in third-degree scald burns. But it doesn’t woe her with a heartless side effects – nausea, bone pain, headaches and some-more – that she endured before with chemotherapy.
Her hair has grown back. It’s to her shoulders now.
Pollok competence be a warrior, though she says she mostly cries as she sings to a survivors. She doesn’t design this year to be any different.
Or subsequent year.
Because she skeleton to be back.
… I’ve still got a lot of quarrel left in me.
Contact a writer: 714-796-7793 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @TellTheresa