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This year I am riding in memory of my husband Matt and in honor of my aunt Janet Smith.
I am also riding to honor everyone who has a cancer story to tell. Cancer has affected nearly every person I know in some way. I'm riding so that nobody has to tell those stories anymore. I'm riding so that I can say nobody I know has been affected by cancer.
Last year I tapped out of the 135 mile, two-day ride somewhere around 100 miles in.
I stopped my bike and hadn't called the rescue number yet, but a van pulled up and the driver said "Hey, Sara! Are you doing okay?"
I wasn't okay, really. I stopped sweating and had goosebumps, I didn't have anything in the tank to go on and I was crying because I was feeling guilty about giving up. A rider was sitting in the back of the van. I recognized him from earlier in the day--Bryce and I encouraged him up a pretty brutal hill in some of the most beatiful country I've ever ridden in. He must have read my name on my jersey tag and recognized me--Nic.
I don't know how it started but we started telling our personal cancer stories in the van. Nic lost his father to colon cancer two years before. The driver of the van, whose name I unfortunately didn't get, was a prostate cancer survivor who lost his sister to breast cancer when she was in her 40s. As he loaded my bike onto the roof rack of the van the driver laughed and said "the problem with being a prostate cancer survivor is I never know when I'm going to go." He hopped off the stepstool and looked at Nic and I, then at his pants, "Good, I haven't embarrassed myself today."
I told them mine--colon cancer made me a widow. The driver stopped the van and Nic put his hand on my shoulder and they both apologized for my loss. And then I cried.
Matt should have turned 37 on March 21st, 2019, but didn't.
Without the care of his dedicated team of oncologists and nurses I wouldn't have had Matt for as long as I did.
100% of the funds raised by Pelotonia allow oncologists and researchers at the James to give other cancer patients and their families hope for the future.
I completed my first ride a month after Matt died. The experience was overwhelming, and joyful in a time when I needed joy the most. It is difficult to describe how much that ride meant to me.
My second ride taught me even more about this community that none of us want to be in--the kindness people have for each other is amazing. Nic and SAG Wagon Driver taught me to treat myself a little more kindly, too.
I can't wait to experience my third ride.
Matt Raike (In Memory)
Janet Smith (In Honor)
|08/15/2019||NiSource Charitable Foundation||$100.00|
|08/04/2019||Joe and Sharon Wisecup||$100.00|
|07/31/2019||DOZ Charitable Foundation, Inc.||$200.00|
|07/31/2019||The Daniels Family||$50.00|
|07/26/2019||Katy & Doug Farber||$100.00|
|07/24/2019||Dick & Lynn Counter||$100.00|
|07/03/2019||The Lewis Family||$100.00|
|06/24/2019||Dan and Ellen Raike||$100.00|
|06/17/2019||The Thomas Family||$50.00|
|06/01/2019||The Zint Family||$100.00|
|05/31/2019||Bev and Bill Bennett||$100.00|