Yes, I know it’s only February and the Ride for Roswell isn’t until June 24, but this year I’m gearing up for major fundraising, setting a personal goal of $25,000. Is this crazy? Perhaps. But then again I didn’t think our 2016 team could raise the $10,000 it did, so I’m setting the bar high! As you plan your charitable giving for 2017, please consider supporting me in my personal fight, as well as all the amazing work being done at Roswell Park Cancer Institute to find a cure for cancer.
For those not already familiar with my journey thus far, I was diagnosed in November 2015 with bile duct cancer that had metastasized to my abdomen. This is a very rare cancer, and it is CURRENTLY incurable. I participated in a clinical trial at RPCI from February through April 2016, and since then have continued to receive chemotherapy to shrink my tumors. I have made a lot of progress in that regard. Through my doctors and other support services at Roswell my side effects are fairly well-controlled. I have bad days, I have good days and I have great days, but my optimism rarely wavers and I remain very hopeful for the future. I take things one day at a time. The journey I have been on has taught me many things--the two most outstanding being that I have an incredibly amazing support system that has carried me through and continues to do so, and to be grateful every single day. I know it’s cliché, but no one is promised another day, and that becomes all the much clearer when you have a disease such as cancer.
Every single person who is reading this message has been through this journey with someone they love—perhaps it is you, or your child, sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend. Every person’s experience is different, but everyone deserves a chance at a healthy, fulfilling life. And we need more funding for more research to achieve that. Plain and simple. Here’s the really selfish part of my appeal—yeah, I want to be here to see my son graduate from college, to see my children get married, to enjoy grandbabies. And I’m pretty damn sure I will be. But I can’t sit idly by and just hope. I need to help, and I’m hoping that you will help in this fight for me and everyone who would like to rid the world of cancer.
My team is called Valerie's Victorious Velocipedists. I would love to have a bigger team of riders this year, but any way you can participate or help is appreciated. As a rider you can also create your own fundraising page. Please consider not only donating, but riding, walking, volunteering, or just showing up and being supportive on the day of the event. Last year we got a team tent, and will probably do the same this year. We also have team t-shirts for all of our riders—you will stand out in one of these bright purple t-shirts that represent not only my favorite color, but the color of SURVIVORS!
Thanks to all for your continuing love and support! Valerie