2018, 7 years in and going strong.
Last year, for the first time since I've been riding, I had to make a change from riding "in support of" to riding "in memory of" for someone. A rare form of leukemia took a long-time high school friend, Tommy Diehl, at the age of 33 after a year long battle. Our hearts ache for the Diehl family, but we hope all are taking comfort in knowing he is resting peacefully in heaven.
Sadly, I have to add another to the list this year. Nancy Vargo, the mother of my friend of nearly 20 years, Lauren Vargo, passed away in April from pancreatic cancer. Nancy learned of her diagnosis in March, which shows you how quick and deadly this horrible disease can be.
Who I Ride For (UPDATED):
- In Support of: Kevin Hays, Kathy Caiola, Nancy Giamberardino, Joe Marcello
- In Honor of Survivors: Anita Fashana, Carly Marrs, Marilyn D'Agostino, Laurie Jones, Vic Carucci, Kristy Gossel, Jen Farmer
- In Memory of: Nancy Vargo (2018), Captain Tom Diehl (2017), Nicholas O'Neil (2016), Deputy Sheriff Joe Joseph (2011)
Why I Ride:
- Cancer just sucks. And it's incredible how many people are impacted and that our medical pros haven't conquered it yet. That means we must continue to pump every ounce of energy and support we can to aid in the fight.
Well, the kids are too big to sit in the trailer and tow, and too little to ride on their own. So they'll be greeting me at the finish line when I arrive from my international trek. I'm riding the 46 mile Canada route, which will take me from Roswell Park downtown, over the Peace Bridge, through Southern Ontario up to the Rainbow Bridge, and back down to UB North. I'm really exited for this new route, and getting back into a bit of a distance challenge.
My good buddy Tim registered, rented a bike and booked his flight from Arizona to join me on the ride this year, too!
More of the Story:
I never thought that when I first rode in 2012 that it would hit me so hard, and mean so much to me personally and to others, that I would keep coming back. But it happened, year in and year out now. Each year I come back more excited than the last.
This really started for me as a personal challenge. How far could I ride? Well, I've managed to ride the 65 mile route twice, the 44 and the 30 on my own, and in the past two years I've crusied through 10 mile jaunts with my kiddos in tow.
Nice achievements, sure. But the real achievements have nothing to do with biking. I've surpassed $12,000 for lifetime fundraising! I've also paid closer attention to the battles people face with cancer and thanked God more that my family and I have evaded or beat cancer. And now, I've started my kids on a course of understanding and involvement with this great cause. Hoping to continue being the example for them.
I greatly appreciate your support. And to the many of you that have contributed in the past and continue to support my efforts, thank you and God Bless.