I was inspired by more than a few friends who participated in the LiveStrong Seattle Challenge last year. I decided to do the ride myself this summer to help raise money and awareness for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Like many people, I have close friends and family who have battled and survived cancer. More people need to know that cancer is no longer the death sentence that it once was. You can fight it, and you don't have to fight it alone.
I registered for the ride last winter and just a few months later, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. He was ready to fight it, despite it's advanced stage, however other complications with his health were compounded by the cancer and he lost his battle before it ever really began. His death just two months later was a huge loss to my family.
My friend Blaine, who visited from Colorado for the Courage Classic last summer, ended up at our house on vacation over the LiveSTRONG weekend in June. Rather than hang out while I rode the course, Blaine signed up for the ride, too, and raised over twice as much money as me. It was a dreary, rainy day (in fact, the darkest June day in Seattle in 15 years) and we opted for the 45 mile course. We rode along with John, another friend who signed up at the last minute and who's family has had it's share of losses to cancer over the years. It was humbling to ride behind riders decorated with "Survivor" tags and certainly motivated us to overcome the small discomfort that the weather provided.
Many thanks to everyone who donated to my fundraising effort and who rode or supported the ride.