|$0||My Commitment: $5,000.00|
This photo represents life at its best - a storybook beginning: a childhood full of pure joy, love, happiness and innocence. I am in the playhouse that my father built for my sister and me from scratch, complete with French doors, electricity, carpeting and tripled pained windows. Life was simple, carefree and fun! I was delightedly oblivious to anything but an idyllic life. That would change when I turned 12 and found my parents were not there to pick me up from ski club. My father had fallen gravely ill; that night his flu was determined instead to be renal cell carcinoma - kidney cancer. Dad would live with cancer for eight more years. He would endure countless operations. He would lose an eye to a brain tumor. He would continue to play tennis and drive a car, looking handsome and dapper with his black patch. He would be told he would never walk again. He would! He was told that he was terminal from the day of the diagnosis. He defied the odds over and over again. He smiled throughout it and engaged in friendly conversations whenever given the opportunity. He tried all of the experimental treatments. He marveled at his physicians and their expertise. (He would have been blown away by the impact of Pelotonia!) My mom was a rock through it all (still is!) and my brothers and sister were my heroes (still are!).
I now have my own family and I strive to be for them what my father was for me, for us. I learned from him the importance of positivity. I learned about strength and the immense power of the human mind. The love he showed and the faith he demonstrated still resonate. I learned more from my father in 20 years than some might learn in a lifetime. That beautiful playhouse, that structure, will forever represent the amazing foundation that my father built for my family and me.
This story was not scripted by my mom and dad. They could never have known where life would take them. While I long for the naiveté of the child in this photo, I cannot change the story. However, I can do my best to carry on my dad’s legacy – my family’s legacy. Pelotonia has provided me with an outlet to channel all of the grief that comes with losing my father at a young age. I am thankful for each and every Pelotonia participant and cannot possibly articulate my gratitude strongly enough. The Pelotonia arrow has become a treasured symbol full of joy, love, happiness, strength, courage, and belief. Thank you for being the manifestation of the best human qualities! Thank you, Daddy, for building us that sturdy playhouse.
I would be ever so grateful if you would consider donating to Pelotonia. Donations may be made on my fund-raising page here – Pelotonia.org/Kondracke by clicking on that button on the right -or- you may send a check to: Pelotonia, L-3454, Columbus, OH 43260-3454 (Be sure to put Rider ID SK0008 on the check memo.)
Please know that each and every donation is treasured and impactful and adds to the collective total. (In ten years, we have raised more than $184 million dollars.) You should also know that, thanks to our generous funding partners, 100% of your donation goes directly to cancer research – 100%!
|03/05/2019||The Ulman Family||$25.00|
|02/25/2019||Cindy and Larry Hilsheimer||$50.00|
|02/21/2019||Laura and David Powers||$100.00|