The Empire State Ride is more than just a bike ride. I am participating in a cycling adventure across New York State to end cancer. A cause that hit home this past year for me when my wife, Christine, was diagnosed with synchronous cancer. After a major surgery to remove three tumors, she underwent six rounds of chemotherapy over the next five months. With God’s grace, my wife’s amazing strength, and an excellent medical staff, she became a cancer survivor and my reason for continuing my fight.
When I began fundraising for Roswell Park I did so as a tribute to my best friend from high school, Dan Pepe. Dan succumbed to his battle with leukemia just one short year after we graduated from high school. Unfortunately my list has grown substantially in the years since with the loss of many dear family members, friends and coworkers. Most recently, this past year, we lost two dear friends. First we lost Rose Braman, my daughter’s fiancés mom. Though I only had the pleasure of knowing Rose for a short time, she was a magnificent and strong lady. She had battled through three different bouts with cancer during which she also lost her husband. Shortly after Rose passed, I lost a best friend of over 35 years, Wally Bress. Wally and I had become close like brothers watching our children grow from the time our first born arrived just days apart at Mercy Hospital, into their adulthood. It was a very sad and painful passing this past September, when Wally lost his battle with this horrible disease just days before his youngest daughter’s wedding.
Fortunately, however, many have become survivors like my wife, thanks in a large part to the research and development at Roswell Park. It is for all the reasons above that this year I will participate in my first Empire State Ride.
Everyone knows someone whose life has been affected by cancer. This is my opportunity to change the state of cancer research for good. Together, we can fuel groundbreaking discoveries, find cancer cures and save lives.
Please consider making a donation to my efforts today. No donation is too small, and every dollar adds up to something greater than any one of us could accomplish alone. Let’s make a difference together.
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