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Dear friends and family,
This August, I will be riding my bike from Vancouver to Seattle as part of the Ride to Conquer Cancer in honour of my mom, Lisa. I will ride alongside my dad, four siblings, and many of our family and friends as part of Team Courage for Lisa, which was formed this year in her name. The ride will provide an opportunity to spend time with people I love and who loved my mom, and to reflect on her life and all of our loss.
In April of 2015, my mom was diagnosed with a stage IV glioblastoma multiforme, which is the most aggressive type of brain tumour, with no known cure or cause and median survival of just 14.6 months. Her tumour was located deep in the centre of her brain, which made it impossible to remove, even partially. Despite this unnerving diagnosis, my mom maintained a positive attitude as we sought the best possible treatments for the disease. Treatment first included six weeks of daily radiation with concurrent oral chemotherapy, which drastically compromised her abilities to walk and speak. She recovered almost completely from this and within months she was back to cracking jokes and going for lengthy walks each day. Following radiation, she was put on a new chemotherapy plan, which seemed to be working for several months, until it didn’t anymore. We then moved on to another, newer, intravenous chemotherapy which was promising until it too failed. It wasn’t until we had tried everything and decided to stop treatment entirely that I understood this might be the end of her life. Throughout her illness, I was convinced that my mom would be able to overcome it. She loved her life, and was wholly determined to continue living it. My mom was a vibrant, happy, healthy person with decades of love and joy left to share with the world, but in July of 2016, her life was cut short by brain cancer.
The heartbreak and injustice I feel for my mom is vast, and she is one of many people whose lives have been and will be affected or taken by this disease. Leading up to the ride, I will be raising funds that will go directly towards brain cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency, where my mom received much of her treatment and care. I sincerely appreciate donations in any amount, and thank everyone for their support!
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