One day I was telling my roommate about how I knew why I felt like I needed to ride, but I didn’t know how to articulate it. My frustrated rant ended with “I ride because there are too many reasons to” and she responded with, “well there you go”.
I’ve honestly been shocked by the amount of times I’ve come across people who haven’t been affected by cancer in some way. My Nana Cloe was diagnosed with bladder cancer the same year I was born, so it has always been a part of my life. In some way, every part of my extended family has been touched by cancer: from my Uncle Steve Y., Uncle John, Aunt Teri, Aunt Jan, and mom being survivors of skin cancer, to Papa Doug and Uncle Steve C. being prostate cancer survivors. My Nana Cloe has beat bladder and breast cancer. One of my dad’s closest friends, Mike, is still going through treatment since being diagnosed with throat cancer in 2016. My aunt’s best friend, Cece, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma 10 years ago, despite the 4% chance of making it past 5 years. After ten years of a clean bill of health, doctors found a 3 mm tumor the summer of 2017 and she passed away during the summer of 2018. My Nana Teel, who was always a ray of sunshine and was more active in her 80s than most people are in their 20s, had her life cut too short after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in 2014.
There may be some people who haven’t been affected by cancer, but there are too many with stories like mine. I ride because Texas 4000 allows me to make an impact I never thought was possible. I ride for people who can’t afford treatment and to help raise awareness in communities. I ride for those who want to but can’t. I ride for those who would never in a million years, but still have people they need me to ride for. I ride for my teammates whose strength never ceases to amaze me.
If you have someone you would like me to ride for, I would love to ride for them too. Whether you want to share a story or just a name, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.