7th Ride to Conquer Cancer
Please support My Ride to Conquer Cancer (R) in memory of Laura Jane White and Roberta ("Bobbie") Kenney.
2018 marks my seventh year doing The Ride. Thank you to all who supported me in the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Rides.
I ride for a CURE, not the same drugs and procedures that have failed us time and time again.
In memory of ROBERTA ("BOBBIE") KENNEY -- my friend and support during difficult times; a true woman of kindness and compassion. She is remembered as a veteran of the Marine US Corps. Thank you for your years of friendship and love.
In memory of LAURA JANE WHITE -- my sister, who died 3 weeks after diagnosis despite beating AML. She died from chemotherapy side effects, contracting an ESBL superbug, unbeknownst to the doctors. https://vimeo.com/139665382 (wrongful death reform).
Thank you for the Media Support...
Vancouver Courier: http://www.vancourier.com/sports/riding-the-miles-to-conquer-cancer-in-memory-of-a-sister-1.1808795
Philippine Canadian Inquirer: http://www.canadianinquirer.net/2015/07/17/why-music-matters-christine-white/
MetroVan Independent News: http://metrovanindependent.com/2015/07/the-ride-to-conquer-cancer/
A summary of Laura's story:
My little sister was 15 when she was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia).
Laura was healthy and athletic, but what prompted my dad to take her to the doctor were the headaches that were originally thought to be attributed to a soccer practice accident. Laura was sent to see a physiotherapist, but Dad requested a blood work to be done. I will never forget the devastation in his voice when he learned the news over the phone: Laura has leukemia. The cure rate of AML was a slim 11% in 2002, but my family was hopeful. The head oncologist was surprised with how early the cancer was detected and he, too, was hopeful.
Laura begins her battle. Excruciating pain (lumbar puncture/spinal tap) and chemotherapy "protocol." Her WBC count drops to 0. A surgical procedure goes wrong - an accidental punctured lung. She develops pneumonia as a result. Nurses do not "gown up and wash hands upon entry" despite the sign asking them to do so. One nurse, specifically, coughs over Laura, which appalled my family considering that Laura is immunosuppressed due to the chemo. Her stomach begins to bloat and hurt.
I remember the moment I first shed tears and realized the intensity of her treatment: seeing my sister without hair. "I'm sorry," she says.
We all prayed for her recovery. I wished and prayed to take her spot. I wanted to fight the disease in her place, being her big sister, her protector. Laura was in so much pain, but she did not complain. She wanted to see her dog Ayla again. Thankfully, she was given a chance to in the hospital lobby.
Laura fought hard and beat the odds! July 11th was a day to celebrate - Laura beat the disease! She was in remission. ... But her stomach was still severely hurting and I noticed her eyes seemed very distant.
July 12th, 2002 - Laura's heart suddenly goes into ventricular fibrillation. "Please save her," dad pleads.
When I got the phone call from my dad to come to the hospital quick - I thought I had been diagnosed as well (as the day before I had my blood work done to see if I was a compatiable bone marrow match). I remember looking out the window shorlty after and reciting a desperate prayer. I got to the hospital, washed my hands as usual upon entry, but before I could enter ICU a nurse escorted me to a room. At that moment I thought that I, too, had leukemia and they were about to inform me. I never anticipated these exact words: "We are so sorry. Your sister has died."
Laura is remembered for being victorious - she beat the disease. The complications led to her sudden and abrupt death 3 weeks after diagnosis; contracting the ESBL super-bug in her stomach, pneumonia, a punctured lung. "She hid her symptoms well" are words that irk me to this day.
I cycle in Laura's memory in hopes that no other person will fall victim to "protocol" side effects, despite beating the disease.
... AND THANKS TO YOU, I KNOW THAT WE ARE SAVING LIVES. THE SURVIVAL RATE FOR CHILDREN DIAGNOSED WITH AML IS 60-80%.
It is such a rewarding feeling to know that others in my community feel the same way I do, and have decided to join the crusade against cancer. On a 240KM+ journey, you have no choice but to reflect on who you are, what you are doing, and why you are doing it. For myself, I learned to persevere, to break the shell of shock over the loss of my sister, and to do something positive in her memory. I am doing this for all the other "big sisters" who will grieve the loss of their younger sister - I want to show them strength, courage, and an infinite love as being forever and always the big sister who defends, protects, and loves her younger sister.
It is truly a meditative and enlightening experience that cannot be put into words, but I promise you - you will learn so much from the experience. It is one thing to have the "right thought" but it is another to execute the "right action."
About the Ride:
The Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting BC Cancer Foundation, is a two-day cycling journey, through Canada's Pacific region taking place in the summer. It will be a challenge in a number of ways, but with my bike, my helmet, and your generosity, a real impact will be made!
Contribute to this history-making event with a donation. Funds raised in The Ride to Conquer Cancer will support breakthrough research, exemplary teaching, and compassionate care made possible through BC Cancer Foundation, a leader in cancer research and care.
Thank you in advance for your help.
- Christine White
My Participant ID: 322595-4
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