Almost 3 years ago, I was a young mother of two children ages 3 and 5. I had just moved to a new house and my husband and I decided to take our children for a bike ride in our neighborhood. This excursion saved my husbands life, and embarked my family in to a world that I never chose to enter.
Cancer chose my family. My husband, after a leisurely bike ride, was very winded and decided to undergo a physical. He knew he was tired, but honestly, who wasn’t with small children? We thought we were normal people living out a normal life. Then he was diagnosed with cancer. It was devastating. There were no symptoms. There were no signs. Peter, my husband was not even the ‘typical’ profile. He was just winded one day! This couldn’t happen. No one in our peer group had experienced cancer…or so we thought.
My brave husband Peter with the support of many friends, went through surgery, chemotherapy and is two years post treatment. Today through the grace of many miracles he is a cancer survivor. In the beginning we had thought this point would be the end. It is only the beginning.
Daily, I have watched cancer grow in my life. A friend was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, my father-in-law passed away from esophageal cancer this year, another friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, another with melanoma, my friends sister has lung cancer…cancer is not going away without a fight.
When Jeff and Karin Keith invited Peter and I to join them in support of the CT Challenge, we agreed and were excited to do so. Cancer SUCKS! Cancer survivorship RULES! I ride in 2008 for my husband a survivor, his mother a survivor, in memory of his father, for my children to know that cancer is not a death sentence. I ride this year to make a difference for my family and for the families just like mine. I ride to make sure that cancer survivorship increases for the third year in a row. I ride to make sure that dying from cancer one day becomes a thing of the past. I ride because I hate cancer and want to make a difference in the post treatment of cancer survivors.
Cancer is not going to go away. Cancer survivorship is only going to increase with the hard work of people who care, like all of the participants in the CT Challenge.
I ride for me, for my husband, for my children, for my family, for my friends, for my neighbors and for you. My wish is to ride and make a difference in one survivor’s life. The Yale Cancer Survivorship Center will make a difference in mine and I did not even know I needed it when Peter was diagnosed. I ride to make a difference for all cancer survivors!