Monday, March 11, 2013

Why We Ride....

In a little less than 4 weeks, I set out with a group of amazing people on the "Key to Keys" ride. This cycling trip spans 8 days, 1400 miles, and cities in between Baltimore, Md and Key West, Fl. It will be physically taxing, but the UCF staff, the other riders, and the amazing survivors, fighters, and staff we will meet at cancer centers along the way will make it worth it.

When you explain a trip like this, people look at you like you are insane (unless they are also doing the event...then they all look slightly mortified about how training is going). It is hard to explain that this isn't totally selfless. There is something rewarding about completing a physical challenge like this, but doing it for a charity you believe in and meeting amazing people along the way takes it to an entirely different level. With the Run Across America last year, we met people who literally stopped to give us the money in their pockets. They had their own experiences with cancer, and wanted to help others. There is nothing more humbling than someone who probably doesn't have a lot to give reaching out to support others.

Cancer Survivors, Team Fight members, and Roommates
JP & Alyssa

I went to a celebration this weekend that really embodied what UCF is all about: survivorship, support, fellowship.... JP and Alyssa are cancer survivors who met through UCF. The party was a housewarming, celebrating their new digs and JP's 2nd "Liverversary". This was the 2nd anniversary of her of her liver transplant after battling liver cancer. Celebrating these two amazing women, with many other members of UCF's Team Fight, was almost surreal. We laughed, we ate liver-shaped cake, and we laughed more. UCF provides support in so many forms- formal and informal. Their programs go beyond navigation to fellowship and friendship. While those may seem trivial, the level of support for someone going through cancer treatment can't be overemphasized. This brings me back to the "not totally selfless" part... My life is richer for knowing so many amazing people involved with UCF.

I am already humbled by the amount of support I have received from family and friends. I can't begin to thank all of you enough. (I also have to thank my amazing husband and children who are selfless in their willingness to support me on this journey). I have raised almost $3500, well on my way to the $4000 goal. I know that this amount will help support young adults and their families, either through navigation services, scholarship, the Cancer to 5K program, or one of the other UCF programs. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.......

I don't think the remote control will make the trip to Key West.