I will be riding in memory of Bill and know that he will be with me every pedal stroke of the way. When I need to dig deep I will have to look no further than the example of courage he demonstrated when faced with a diagnosis of Stage 4 Colon Cancer in 2008. Bill was a fellow triathlete, my neighbor and the husband of my good friend Jess. I was in absolute awe of the stoicism and the graciousness with which he faced this disease. In June of 2008, he barely made it to his own wedding due to an extremely high fever after a round of chemotherapy. Bill had single minded determination to make it to the alter and I will model that in my quest to make it to the finish line in under 12 hours. I will be reminded of his courage and his lack of selfishness in his final days and draw on that strength each time I take a drink from my bottle. I'm pretty sure he has the power now to grant me a tailwind when I need it too!
Click on the link above to tell the world who you ride for.
Bill on his wedding day June 2008
Bill before his last half ironman
I will also be drawing on the incredible strength of two women in my life who have both survived breast cancer.
I honor my mother in law not only for overcoming breast cancer but more importantly for raising the most important person in my life. She did an amazing job and I am grateful everyday that because of her I have me hearty in my life. He was a teenager when she underwent chemotherapy and treatment. I know it was a horrible time for the whole family but it helped shape him into the compassionate and loving man he is today. Not only that, it made him learn to cook and clean, and for that I am eternally thankful! She recently celebrated her 70th birthday and is a long time cancer survivor:)
Happy 70th Myrna
I will also be riding for my beautiful cousin who battled and beat breast cancer two years ago. Growing up she was the closest I had to a big sister, and even though she doesn't know it, she was my role model. I tried to emulate her in every way I could, even down to the big hair. She always had such great hair! I know I was the typical nuisance of a three year younger cousin, but I am forever appreciative for all that she taught me. All the important stuff, like a deep love for AC/DC and Loverboy music! Not to mention some sweet dance moves I learned in the basement. As I ride I won't only be motivated by her extreme grace during her cancer treatment, but also by her patience with her annoying younger cousin.
Even more beautiful bald!
Sticker on all my bikes
I hope that in my journey across the sky I do justice to the spirit and courage of these three people. I know that nothing that I will encounter on race day will be even close to the monster they all had to face. I thank all three of them for being my source of bottled inspiration and motivation!