Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Key to Keys: Why We Ride

My teammate Kacie did a great post about her Ride Across America (Two Women Riding across the country, going for the time record.....). They are riding for charity, and Kacie said she is often called "crazy" for doing such a thing. My journey on the Key to Keys ride isn't nearly as epic, but I understand Kacie's sentiment. Sometimes, the biggest part of the journey is setting and attaining a seemingly unreachable goal. 

The Key to Keys ride is a personal journey, and also one to support a cause I value greatly. The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults does amazing work. Already, our group has raised $40,000 to support them...this will help fund the first year of a cancer navigator program at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Imagine being a serviceman or woman, sent to a regional medical center with great oncology care...miles away from friends and family. The Ulman Fund will provide support, a peer group, and navigation services not available before at Walter Reed.

It is hard to explain what a journey like this is all about. People hear that you are cycling from Baltimore, MD to Key West, Fl and all they hear from that point is "wah-wah-wah-wah-crazy-wah-wah-insane-wah-wah-certifiable." It is partly selfish. I know that I will be absolutely inspired on this journey. The cycling will be hard, but fighting cancer is harder. The cancer survivors and fighters we meet will be beyond inspiring. The survivors who will be cycling with us and providing support on this journey will be motivation every moment of every day. 

I've asked friends and family to share those they would like me to ride in memory or in honor of. My first thought of cancer or memory of someone with cancer was my Grandmother, Virginia "Ginger" McDonald. I was the oldest grandchild and 1 when she died. We lost my husband Tommy's cousin Chris Abshire to cancer way too young, in his early 30s. Chris was an amazing spiritual leader, and while I know he and his wife Martha had amazing support, I wish we had known about Ulman then. 

I'm riding for "Team Davis". Harmony kicked off the Run Across America last year in honor of her husband Ryan. They are a phenomenal family with amazing faith, endless love, and incredible determination. I will be thinking of them every pedal stroke. Learn about their family here. I know there are people I left off this list...this is my flight of ideas, and list compiled in talking to friends and family. Know that your friends and family will be in my thoughts during this ride. Cycling is hard, but nothing compared to fighting cancer. My hope is that through this journey we CAN make a difference, and raise funds to support young adults fighting cancer. 

I'm riding for Chris, a Mom with young kids who is kicking breast cancer's butt...

I'm riding for the ladies I am privileged to work with at MedStar Montgomery who have battled cancer...Diane, Annie, Libby, Patti, Maryjane, and so many more...

I'm riding for Tracey...who kicked cancer's butt this fall

I'm riding for Carol, who is an amazing healthcare provider, with endless kindness and compassion, and began her treatment today...

I'm riding for Patricia Weir...the Mother of a high school classmate who is fighting hard. 

I'm riding for JP...the coolest liver transplant recipient a girl could ever know.

I'm riding for Abby and Meg and all the other cancer survivors on our trip!

I'm riding for Shawn Blatzer..11 years old and bravely battling stage 4 brain cancer. 

I'm riding in honor of John Howard...fighting melanoma at age 7

I'm riding in honor of Anya...kicking cancer's butt at 6 years old

I'm riding in honor of Nicole, Kellie, and in memory of Mike Kuchinski.

I'm riding in honor of Watson Dufresne... diagnosed with leukemia at age 2..now he is almost 6 and a few weeks away from finishing his chemo treatment

I'm riding in honor of Jhondra McNeely, recently diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

I'm riding in memory of Gail Ardner...a mother, wife, and friend who lost her battle with breast cancer last August.

I'm riding in memory of Drew Wall...lost this past November. #justdrewit

I'm riding in memory of Susie Ohlendorf, lost to breast cancer last month

I'm riding in memory of Chris Sarris...a fire department colleague lost to colon cancer

I'm riding in memory of Kristin Ebaugh

I'm riding in honor of friends of Ryan Davis...who prays for others daily even during his own battle....

Marcus Fowler (Leukemia) - Enduring stem cell transplant
Tim Mains (Testicular cancer) - Just started chemo
David Brenneman (Leiomyosarcoma) - Battling metastasis with changing chemos
Dan Noss
 - (Liposarcoma) - Chemo and stuck in hospital with infection
Brent - (Leukemia) - Just a kid, prayers that his make-a-wish trip is great

If you want to follow us on this journey, you can go to www.keytokeys2013.blogspot.com. I also hope to be posting updates here. Thank you for your support. You can check out my Ulman Team Fight page here

1 comment:

  1. I love this Kier! You are riding for so many...and for so many not yet identified. Be safe..may you have a tailwind and sunny skies the whole way! :-)