Let’s get to it.
One, because f*ck cancer. That one’s straightforward enough. Fundraising and awareness-raising are important things.
Two, because it’s an immense personal challenge. It’s not purely altruistic: it’s about setting ambitious fitness and fundraising targets and blowing them out of the water. In 2009, when I did my first Ride to Conquer Cancer, biking 200km and raising $2,500 seemed utterly outrageous. Now it seems slightly less so, but that’s only because–having done it twice now–I know it’s at least conceptually possible.
Three, because Kevin and I have been wanting to do this together for years. Geography and then my wonky knees made it difficult until 2016; Kevin’s wonky knees almost made it difficult this year, too, but thankfully that taxi didn’t hit him hard enough.
Four, because the lead singer of one of our favourite bands was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Gord Downie’s illness has nothing to do with our team name–Kevin and I have been planning on calling our Ride to Conquer Cancer team the Tragically Clipped, quite literally, for years–but it’ll give us an added push.
Lastly, I’m riding because I’m a cancer survivor and I want to show cancer who’s boss. When I was three I was diagnosed with, and subsequently treated for, a Wilm’s Tumour, which is a fancy way of saying “cancer of the kidney.” If you’ve ever seen me shirtless you’ll have no doubt noticed a massive scar bisecting my midsection. That’s the visible manifestation of what happened to me thirty-two years ago. The disease itself has long been eradicated, but I’ll be living with its aftereffects for the rest of my life. That statement isn’t intended to garner sympathy–-believe me, I know how lucky I am–but it goes a long way towards explaining why I’m about to do a 200km bike ride. It isn’t just for fun. Or for fun at all: I still don’t love biking the way some people do. But crossing that finish line with the yellow survivor flag flying from my bike? That will be fun.
(Two more quick things: yes, this means I’ve only got one kidney, and yes, it functions better than both of yours…or in one case, all four of yours. Thanks for the donation, Amy!)
So: now that you know all the main reasons for me doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer again, I’m excited to report that I’m at 90% of my fundraising goal! If you’d like to donate, simply follow this link. We still have two weeks left to crack $2,500. Thanks again for reading. Your support, financial or otherwise, means the world to me.