Cancer, I hate you.
There…I had to get that out there…I had to say it. No, I had to yell it!
That STUPID word has crushed to many families hearts. It has left many of us broken, but not beaten. It has destroyed parts of us that we will never get back. For me, this year has been a wild, emotion filled year – full of mixed emotions ranging from happiness to sadness.
Those who know me personally know that I am someone who has lost a family member to cancer… I am someone who’s dad battled his cancer and won (5 years cancer free)… and I am someone who is just 2 years out from my own cancer diagnoses and surgery.
Today, I am also someone who is watching, with a crushed heart, the devastation cancer is causing one family by slowly (or should I say quickly) taking the life of a little boy who is only 8 years old.
For all these reason, and over the past several years, I have ridden in S2R. S2R is a charity bike ride benefiting cancer patients and their families. Yeah, rides like this take on a more personal meaning when you know people who are fighting their own battle.
This ride means more to me than just riding for some noble cause – it hits home much closer than that…especially when I think about how this ugly word has impacted… no devastated…my family, my friends, and now a little boy who hardly has had the chance to live.
As I said, this year my emotions are all over the place – sadness, happiness, celebration, and determination. I have been thinking about so many people lately. I am thinking about my loved ones. I thinking of our hope, our pain, our glee, and yes our grief.
This year, like last year, I am riding for our loved ones. Sadly the list of those I will ride for has grown a little longer. But please know that I am riding:
In honor of: Robert Johnson (my dad), Betty Lepper, Lucy Butler, the Hofen family, Wain Sloan & Christina Campbell, Norma Monday, Manisha Kulshresta, Bryan Lee, Jan Condreay & Dottie Arms, Sonja Yngve, Louis F. Rhodes, Jr., Dick and Judy Russell, Sisters, Connie Allred – Mary Coble and Kathy Wilson, as well as all the cancer victims and their families.
In memory of: Aunt Venesa (my aunt), Mandi’s dad, Gene Hilt, James Stillman, Grandpa Rich, Herman Spain, Dorothy and Elsie Woodruff, Russ’ Dad, Paul’s Mom, Vina Lue Larson, Hema’s aunt who fought the 18 year battle against breast cancer, Meeta & Milan’s dear friend – Sameer & cousin – Uma Jiji, Ruth Morsbach, James A. Lewis, Louis Rhodes, Sr., Carol Kramer, Jean McClatchey, Wilma Young, and as a friend said, “all my family members who have died from cancer and are too numerous to name.”
I am riding August 4th in the 11th annual S2R charity bike ride. I have set a goal of raising a lot of money. But for me this is more than raising money. It is about joining in the fight against cancer. It is about making donations on behalf of friends and loved one. It is about supporting local organization like Children’s Mercy Hospital and Cancer Action who take care of our family and friends.
With this said, I will end this note by saying I will never be a bystander again. I will always ride. I will ride, not only for these loved ones, but also for me. I AM a cancer survivor. I AM one of the lucky ones. But we need to help those who aren’t so lucky.
My Donation page can be found at: