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Vincent Kituku

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Toastmasters Magazine Article: Vincent Kituku: Overcoming Life's Buffaloes
Meet Idaho's Latest Exports

Dr. Kituku Elected Grand Marshal of Boise State University Home Coming

The Race for the Cure  |  Year II: Racing for More Than Cure
Racing for the Cure While Praying for Sue  |  The Road to Conquering Robie Creek
Dr. Kituku featured in the Idaho Statesman  |  Claiming Idaho´┐Żs Highest Summit
Leading Amateurs to Success  |  Robie Creek Vs Everyone (2006)
When Robie Creek Race Calls, You Participate (2006)   |   Doing Robie Creek as a Non-Kenyan Marathoner   |   What makes the Robie Creek Race Less painful

Race for More Than Cure
By Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku

Months have passed since the Boise Area Race for the Cure. That was on May 8, 2004. But my introduction to the reality of Breast Cancer will remain with me as long as my memory will function.

This event, a three-mile run or walk or crawl (or combination thereof), occurred three weeks after my fitness turning point with the unmerciful 8.4 miles uphill and 4.7 miles downhill half-marathon casually referred as the Robie Creek Race. I had celebrated this personal milestone for the benefits the endeavor had brought me in form of lost weight, physical endurance and ability to accomplish a goal. That, however, had not adequately prepared
me for the Race for the Cure. What I had achieved for a personal goal could never equal what I experienced when it came to racing in order to help find a cure for other persons suffering.

My then 14-year-old daughter had signed to participate with me in the Race for the Cure. This being the first time for either of us to participate in this race, we arrived at the starting point an hour early to pick up our T-shirts and information on what was to happen. Most of the 9,300 participants wore white T-shirts. Survivors of Breast Cancer wore bright pink T-shirts. The enormous presence of that color was mind-boggling, a sight that has refused to leave my mind. The faces of those wearing pink T-shirts still appear in my thoughts.

Please forgive me for being naieve. In more than 40 years of life, I had never realized that men can suffer from breast cancer. I thought it was strictly a female problem. Not so. Seeing men in pink and standing or racing next to one was a realty that could not be experienced or learned in

Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku, Lucille Mbinya, Patricia Kempthome
Dr. Vincent Muli Kituku poses with his daughter Lucille Mbinya (left) and Patricia Kempthome (right), Idaho's First lady before the Race for the Cure event starts in Bose, Idaho

any other way than being there. I realized I could be the one wearing a pink only if I were a survivor of breast cancer.

How can I describe my helplessness the moment I noticed many of the white T-shirts had a story to tell? There were participants running/walking for specific loved ones. Loved ones whose stories were written on pink placards attached to the back of the white T-shirts. "In memory of my mother" or "sister" or "aunt´" or (occasionally) "dad", each with the name of the deceased and some with dates of their death. Some of the pink placards were worn by participants racing in memory of a beloved teacher.

Another revelation surfaced, many of the participant were racing for loved ones who had not yet succumbed to breast cancer. Some are currently going through treatment. A man I serve with on the same board of directors was doing it for his mother. It was a touching reminder, and it hit me hard. I let my daughter take the lead as I wiped tears.

My mother never had breast cancer, but in the early 80's she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. My world seemed to summersault the day she broke the news to me. Her life and mine had been intertwined in ways only the two of us understand, beginning in the early 70's when my father married his second wife. Her destitute predicament was a forced rite of passage for me. I was to be my mother's comforter.

I made sure she knew that when I grew up I would never forget her. If at any time there was a project that needed done to avoid subjecting her to my father's wrath, I always did it willingly. I tried to live the life I wanted my siblings to live for our mother.

I wasn't ready let this disease claim my mother. The day they admitted her at Kenyatta General Hospital, Kenya, I had my first real experience with fasting and meaningful prayer. It was the day I learned to sing "Amazing Grace" by heart. Shortly after I learned about divine healing, I trusted God and sent my mother a handkerchief that had been prayer over. Mom is a living miracle given that her uterine cancer was discovered after her 2-week-old child died of a liver that had been ravaged by cancer, from her own body.

There is more to "Racing for the Cure." It's something I want to do again and again. My prayer is to have a minimum of 100 people who are first timers, whether running for a loved one or not, to participant with me next year, by the grace of God. If you would like to be with us, email me at Vincent@Kituku.com.

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