Eric Prager, Gillie Girl race director, holds a magazine with a picture of his mother, Carol Prager, on the cover.
continued Carol’s motivation to help other women only grew as she made peace with her second diagnosis, which resulted in another double mastectomy. “Her perspective changed,” Prager said. “She looked at this as the end of her life and she accepted the fact that every day was a bonus.”
While Carol was “never an athlete or someone who would work out,” Prager realized his mother’s greater strength: bringing hope and support to others. Although his mother wasn’t a sports fan, she would support him in his triathlon competitions, even on the days she was battling fatigue and sickness from the breast cancer treatments, Prager said.
During the winter of 2008, the Prager family spent their final Christmas vacation together. Carol’s breast cancer spread to her bones and her brain stem. Per mom’s request, there was a cocktail hour every night.
On her final evening, she asked all the kids to leave and have dinner while she stayed with her husband. There were 13 people at the table, but one extra chair. “Everyone had a drink in hand, right … and dad called,” said Prager as he teared up by the thought of the memory. “It was a classic mom moment … a toast.”
July 22 is going to be a special day for the CMB Fund of CNY, for survivors and those being remembered, but also for Eric and Carol Prager. “For me, this is going to be a very emotional day.”
Gillie Girl’s Sprint Triathlon starts at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, July 22, at Gillie Lake at Veteran’s Park in Camillus.
There are fewer than 80 spots left for this all-women triathlon. Athletes and volunteers can find more information and also register at gilliegirltriathlon.com.
Farah F. Jadran is editor of Syracuse Woman magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.