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EAST COAST RIDE
 
September 28-30, 2018
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Welcome to Liz Hickox's Page

Liz Hickox

Welcoming my 5th Tour De Pink!

When I sit down to write my personal story and (hopefully successful!) plea for help, I always try to share my 'Why", and hope I can meaningfully express how and why I commit to riding a bike for 200+ miles every year, all while relentlessly begging for donations.

I've shared too many stories about young women I've met, that changed my life...then left us all...too soon to even know...

I've shared stories about my fellow riders that inspire me everyday;

Many of my fellow riders are friends who are battling themselves ( fact: 1/3 of the riders are or have received treatment for breast cancer),and want to give back to the community and organization that supported them during their struggle

too many have lost friends,
too many have lost wives,
too many have lost mothers,
too many have lost sisters,
too many have lost very young daughters, many young mothers themselves, to this disease that rips families apart, steals young adulthood from 20 somethings, and the chance of motherhood from all.

This year, I saw a different view into Young Survival Coalition that has once again renewed my commitment to this very important cause, and very deserving organization.

As should suprise no one, I am very social and like to connect with anyone and everyone who will remotely entertain the idea.

YSC is a very active organization socially, and we regard each other as family, whether we rode a few miles together or chatted on social media briefly.

When I learned YSC would be holding their annual Survivor Summit in FL, I could not miss this opportunity to hop in the car for a few hour to meet a new survivor friend from the west coast, face-to-face for the first time, who would be attending.

With plans to laugh and drink margaritas in the hotel pool, I packed up my beachtowel and hit the Sunbelt.

I knew the Summit was a highlight of the year for YSC survivors and co-survivors; an opportunity for them to meet new friends, share their stories, and have access to the very valuable education, support and resources that YSC provides to them.

The summit had just convened after 3 days, and I recognized my new best friend in the hotel atrium from our many chats on the YSC social media pages.

We quickly retreated to the closing conference rooms, hoping to snag a boxed lunch for me for free :)

As I entered the area, I quickly looked around and took it all in.

I saw young girls laughing, hugging, crying and saying goodbye to women they had just met, fellow survivors...it was evident instanty that they had shared something very special. The embraced with a warmth and fervor that cannot be described, the emotion they shared with each other was indescribable, and infectious.

I was invited to share a lunch table with a few ladies, and they chatted excitedly about which breakout sessions they had attended.
I listened quietly while they laughed about the previous nights 'dance party', as would most 20 somethings on a sunday morning.

But the converstions these ladies had between we each other were anything but 'normal' for a 25 year old, especially on a sunday monring.

They discussed the 'curriculum' for the conference, and inquired what 'break out session' they had each attended, and how they felt about them.

Topics were along the lines of 'Getting Your Affairs in Order" for Metatastic Breast Cancer ( MBC) patients,
and guided open discussions on fertility options, the challenges of dating as a cancer patient, and fertility options for those who hoped for a chance to become a mother one day.
They discussed early onset menopause, the relationship with ovarian cancer and and the various treatment options available to deal with side effects.
They talked about carrying the BRCA gene, sisters they had lost, and their acceptance of the odds that the cancer would return, in any number of life threatening ways

I hid my eyes from the girls as they talked about their surgical reconstructions, hair loss and spouses and who were 'unable to handle' their new role of primary caregiver to a partnert with breast cancer.
In some cases, leaving her to fend for herself.
Many times, with young children.

Battling breast cancer and planning ones 'final affairs' are discussions that NO young women should EVER have to face, on any morning.

We 'moved the party' out to the pool, where I now felt I had been given the nod into a secret society, of a club I hope to never belong to.

They laughed and chattered on, with margaritas in a pool like any 25 year old would do on a 'girls trip', except they weren't talking about boys, dating and future trips. They showed each other their scars from mastectomies, chatted about 'pretty lingerie options' for surgical reconstruction...they talked about which chemo drugs they had tried and what collagen supplement was the best, and where it could be purchased online for less money.
I watched as they responded instantly and rallied with compassion to help a fellow warrior, whose travel plans had gone awry and feared traveling across the country; she was anxious, alone and afraid.

As I said goodby to my new friend, I said good bye to my 15 or so other 'new friends' ; and got into my car....exhausted from the overwhelming emotions that had overcome me in 2 hours.


THEN IT HIT ME.

THIS was YSC.
It isn't a bike ride.
Its a membership into a sisterhood..created for us all to exist in together while we help young women battling breast cancer, making sure not one does it alone, or withouth everything she needs to battle, and win.

It's criticial resources for every young woman facing a breast cancer disgnosis; support and a community of sisters encircling her so she KNOWS she is never 'alone'.

YSC isn't a secret society;

YSC is a 'bubble of happiness' where women and their families can find a warm community of others who understand the battle they are facing and support that they need to fight the battle of breast cancer, keeping their families together, longer..YSC gives them a place where they are NOT ALONE.

YSC is founded by, run by and NEEDED by survivors...and THEY NEED US, the lucky ones, to help.
Please join me in doing what WE can to help these brave young ladies, in any way we can <3

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$3,570
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