On the inhale it feels like just yesterday. On the exhale it feels like a million years ago. In the “slow” blink of the eye 11 years have come and gone. It’s been 11 years since I received the phone call from my doctor telling me I had breast cancer, at the age of 29. Three months after that call my oldest sister Tracy died from metastatic breast cancer. And it’s been 11 rides since I first clipped into my bike, in Hersey PA and took part in my first Tour de Pink, less than a year out of chemo. 11 years and so much has changed. There have been clean scans, marriage, cancer scares, the birth of my miracle twins, the removal of my ovaries, a new house. 11 years and yet so much hasn’t changed. Because there is still cancer. Young women are still being diagnosed with breast cancer. Young women are still dying, leaving behind lives yet to be lived. Young women are afraid and thinking they’re alone with their diagnosis because when they walk into their local support group the faces looking back at them don’t look like theirs. They are their mothers and grandmothers. It’s been 11 years and doctors are still ignoring young women who point to a lump and say, this doesn’t feel right. It’s been 11 years for me and it’s been nearly 22 since my sister’s initial diagnosis. And yet, here we still are. Fighting this same fight. Demanding better care, more attention to our unique needs, better treatments, and a damn cure!
So I have to ride. I have to! I ride to fight back. I ride to educate. I ride to make people stop, look and talk about breast cancer in young women. I ride to support. I ride for those that no longer can or never got the opportunity, like my sister. I ride for my baby girls, for their future. Because aside from my sparkling personality, and stunning good looks they also have a 50% chance of inheriting my BRCA 1 gene mutation. I ride to feel my breath quicken, to feel my muscles ache, to feel alive. I ride because if I don’t stop then just maybe cancer can’t catch me. I ride to raise vital funds for the Young Survival Coalition, the premiere non-profit that advocates for and supports the needs of young women facing breast cancer.
YSC Tour de Pink is much more than just a bike ride, it’s a chance to honor survivors, raise awareness and support important programs for young women affected by breast cancer. I hope I can count on you to help me reach my fundraising goal!
How will your donation help?
$25 could fund YSC materials at three healthcare providers’ offices.
$100 could provide a Newly Diagnosed Navigator to six women when they need it most.
$250 could allow us to train four survivors to serve as a peer supporters.
$500 could fund a Young Empowered Survivor (YES) educational program.
$1,200 could pay for two young women to travel to the YSC Summit, an annual conference for young women affected by breast cancer and their co-survivors.
So off I go, to ride. I ride to find that finish line. To help one more young woman. To save one more family from the pain of losing a child, a wife, a sister, a mom, a friend from breast cancer. I ride to end the race against breast cancer, once and for all!
Thank you so much for your continued support, encouragement, generosity and love.
Love Love Love,