Look at this room jammed with 100 spin cycles! Each cycle had a rider on it for four hours straight. The music was loud and the instructors, (on the elevated cycles to the left,) were energizing.
Scanning the room as I rode, I was brought to tears. Most riders were there because a loved one died of cancer or is currently battling the disease. Others, like me, were there because they, themselves, are cancer survivors. There were hundreds of participants riding for research dollars.
Being the third year we've participated in this event, there was some sign-up and donation solicitation "fatigue." It's hard to keep going back to friends and family to ask for more money...again. But in the end, we pulled our stuff together, showed up, and Team SHEADE raised over $4,800. I raised nearly $2,900. Despite the anemic pre-event phase, we ended strong!
This year, my dear friend, Brigid, rode with Team SHEADE. Brigid has been with me every step along my cancer journey. When the flu knocked out three riders for this year's event, Brigid got up early on a Saturday morning and drove to Chicago to help us.
|(Hey Stef...I have our necklace on.)|
In 2013, when I was too sick to ride, Wynn, Nathan and Nina rode for me. This year, Wynn and I rode together.
Leslie and Caitlin - riding for the 3rd year! (Leslie married our nephew, Larry, last year and Caitlin is engaged to Larry's twin, Harold.)
Two years ago, my brother-in-law, Bob, got us involved with Cycle for Survival. Here he is with Wynn's sister, Eudice. Both are 3-time C4S veterans.
Andy is our niece, Jayme's, husband. He, too, has ridden in three events. Although an avid supporter this year, Jayme didn't ride because her baby is due any time now.
Bob with Larry. Larry, too, has ridden all three times.
Friends, Cookie and Brent, with Bob and Eudice.
Signed up to ride but missing from this picture are Becca, Devin and my friend, Kisha. Becca and Kisha were home nursing bad cold/flu symptoms and Devin was home taking care of little kids. We know they, along with Nathan, Nina, Bruce, Tracey, Livy, Jake, Harold, and Jori - all previous Team SHEADE riders - were with us in spirit.
To those who are currently battling cancer: It was overwhelming to see such large numbers of people sweating like crazy to raise money for cancer research...for us. I take it very personally. I speak for all cancer survivors when I say, "Thank you to all participants and donors for helping to give us a fighting chance to live a little longer and a little healthier, despite our disease."
P.S.: I ran into Becca - who feels so badly she wasn't able to ride this year. Here's her quote, "I'm riding next year, for sure. I don't care if I'm the only one on that bike, I'm riding." Hey Becca, I'll ride, too!