Team of the Week

Team Momma

Honoring a Momma who has been ill with breast cancer for 16 years.

Amanda Crain founded Team Momma! in honor of her mother Andrea, who has been battling breast cancer for 16 years. Last year, the team had three members and raised $7.500. Its goal for 2012 is $10,000. Crain, who lives in San Francisco, will be traveling to New York for the Race.

“I started referring to my mom as Momma when she became painfully ill with a recurrence of her breast cancer after 10 years in remission,” explained Crain. “She was bedbound for months, and the term Momma was so endearing and loving that all our friends and family members began using it also. She’s Momma to us all.”


Team Momma Amanda Crain and
her Momma, Andrea.

Crain’s mother has had breast cancer since she was 40; her daughter was 10. “Her recurrence has been vicious and unrelenting,” said Crain. In 2007, it metastasized from her breast to her spine, hips, shoulders, liver and brain. Andrea has undergone countless rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. “It seems as though every time she does well, another setback occurs,” she continued. “It’s frustrating to watch and incredibly painful for her to experience. Yet, my Momma is strong, driven, and has the most incredible attitude about her illness.”

Members of Team Momma! include a great group of friends and family. Crain will be joined by her boyfriend, best friends from high school — her most important support system, her best friend from college whose Momma also has cancer, and the main star — her Momma —as well as her dad and brother. “Tons of friends from all parts of my life will be with us on Race Day and have overwhelmed me with support and love,” said Crain. “My college best friend and I will be together with our Mommas; she and I have been on this journey together since school. And my boyfriend, Paul, has been known to rock out in hot pink shorts while sporting his Team Momma! t-shirt.”

Crain’s mother has been ill throughout college and her adult life. Prior to moving to San Francisco, Her life revolved around Momma with her ensuring that Andrea got the care she need. “Friends and family who know me know she’s my heart and soul,” explained Crain. “Even though I rarely talk about it, she’s always in the forefront of my mind. The entire team understands our struggles and has always been there for us for anything we needed.”

Team Momma! uses Facebook and email for recruiting new members. “Facebook is a great forum,” said Crain. She finds that direct mail is the best technique for fundraising. “Last year, I used Outlook at the office to reach out to coworkers, and it was incredibly successful,” she continued. This year, the team is thinking about several possible fundraisers including a happy hour and some fitness events.

When asked about a favorite memory, Crain recounted an experience in 2008 when she was Volunteer Coordinator for Komen Greater NYC. The Race had ended, and she was at the volunteer table helping to organize a group of students. “A few hundred yards away, I spotted my mom and dad walking towards me,” she recounted. “My mom, sporting her pink survivor t-shirt, was doing a little victory dance, waving her arms in the air in celebration.

“I couldn’t control myself and started crying right then and there at the volunteer booth. I ran over to my mom, hugged her and told her I was so proud of her. She told me the same thing. It was a very special moment.”