Who Am I Riding For?
Let me get that out of the way first.
I unfortunately see cancer nearly every day with my job in the endoscopy field. I've been working in it for 15 years and have learned to recognize what cancer looks like inside of a body and the sad truth for the patient after it is discovered.
An eerie silence usually comes over the procedure room when cancer is initially found. I always feel sad for the patient and their family as I envision the challenges their future holds and somewhat selfishly, feel fortunate that it is not me. I thought I understood cancer but I was naive until my Dad was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.
My Mom is a retired RN and we both knew that his was an especially unforgiving terminal cancer. However I also knew what a fighter my Dad was and thought if anybody could defy the odds and miraculously beat it - why not him?
I was in denial because I did not want to lose my Dad as I did not think he deserved to be taken from his wife, daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter, grandson and I. It did not matter what I did, or did not want as this was life and I was now on the other side of what I had seen so many times with those unfortunate cancer patients in the endoscopy room.
My Dad sadly passed December 20th, 2011 and I still wear his necklace around my neck so I can attempt to physically feel him as close to my heart as possible. My sister and I decided to do the Ride to Conquer Cancer in honour of our Dad and although we are not an emotional family, I vividly recall her pulling her bike over to the side of the road away from the rest of our team as we approached the finish line on none other than Father's Day. I knew she was in trouble and circled back to attempt to console her by hugging her as best I could (which was difficult since we were both still on our bikes) ;-) and told her that we did this for Dad together and he would have been proud of us.
It was ironic as she is six years my elder and I was very fortunate to have her as a sister as she was like a second mother to a hyper, and likely annoying at times little brother who probably was consoled by her many times growing up. I type this message to you now as tears roll down my face. Somehow I fought them off for my big sis that day because I felt that would be what my Dad would want as the roles finally reversed and now I was doing my best to take care of her.
Our teammates figured out what was happening and waited for us to rejoin so we could cross the finish line unified as a team. That is what teams do, and this is what EVERYBODY who cycles the two day, 250 kilometre Ride To Conquer Cancer from Vancouver, BC to Seattle, WA selflessly does to honour those who have sadly passed, and help those who are currently battling, or will battle cancer.
So who am I riding for?
Of course I ride in honour of my Dad, but I do not ride solely for him. I like to think that I ride for everybody who is affected by this cruel disease. I ride for my Dad, I ride for my family, I ride for my friends, I ride for strangers, I ride for strangers' families and although I hope this is never the case, I may be riding for you someday.
Of course it is ok if you cannot support my personal ride to conquer cancer but if you can, I would greatly appreciate your support as it will help me try to make a difference for so many others battling to f&%k cancer.
Thank you kindly.
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