Well folks, it’s year 3 for team Valerie’s Victorious Velocipedists to hit the pavement and raise funds for cancer research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. The good news is, I’m still here fighting the fight. The bad news is, there’s still no cure in sight for me and so many other cancer warriors doing battle every day. And so it falls upon all of us to help the process by supporting this amazing event.
By now most of you know my story. I was diagnosed with metastatic cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) in November 2015. I’ve endured almost 2 years of chemotherapy and recently underwent radiation for a new tumor that cropped up in my abdomen. The one chemo drug that I was still being given was causing some problems for me, and my doctor ordered genomic testing to see if I had any mutations that would indicate a more targeted treatment. Lucky for me I was found to have a mutation and my doctor requested approval for a targeted drug that was initially denied by my insurance company. After my doctor and I both appealed that decision, it was recently overturned and I had my first treatment with that new drug in mid-January. I am hopeful that it will be effective and that the side effects are manageable.
Last year our team of 18 raised over $35,000 for the Ride for Roswell. For teams of 11-25 riders, we were the top fundraiser! That is because so many of YOU responded to our pleas and stepped up to the plate in support of, or in memory of, your friends and family members who have been affected by this insidious disease. Personally, I was humbled to receive donations from over 100 people. My challenge to you this year is to give 10% more than you gave to the Ride last year.
I’m encouraged by the direction that Roswell is taking that is reflected in their recent name change to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Roswell, like other cancer centers, recognizes that there are many ways to strengthen and heal the body besides surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, including proper nutrition and stress reduction (through meditation, massage, acupuncture and many other means), and are implementing programs to regularly provide these services to their patients. Curing cancer is the ultimate goal, but support for these programs to help facilitate overall wellness in patients is also critical.
Please consider making a donation to this year’s Ride and/or joining our team! If you don't have a bike or just don't want the hassle of transporting it to the event, no worries. You can rent a bike at the Ride, easy as 1-2-3.
To donate, click on the link below, or go to RideforRoswell.org and search Riders for my name to take you to my fundraising page. If you prefer to send a check, make it payable to “Ride for Roswell”, put my name in the memo line and mail it to Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, P.O. Box 644, Buffalo, NY 14240-0644.
Thank you for continuing to support me and RPCCC in the fight to find a cure. Valerie