24 Years ago, Julie and I signed up for our first Ride For Roswell. We loved riding our bikes and we had heard that R4R was a well organized ride and a good time. Back then we would raise the minimum required funds and not put much work into fundraising. That all changed in December 2004. My brother Jerry called me and told me he had been diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma. His choice for treatment was obvious to him. "I'm going to Roswell". Jer hit some bumps in the road during his treatment, but he fought like a trooper and beat the beast. A couple months later I got another call from Jerry. "Let's put a team together for the Ride For Roswell." We rode together as a team for the first time in June of 2005. Our fundraising has been full guns since then.
Unfortunately for us, Jerry passed on to the heavenly peloton on January 14,2018, so now we ride in his memory. We ride so that others can enjoy years of being cancer free, just as Jerry did after his '04 diagnosis. I'll also be riding in memory of Jim Stawitzky, who lost his battle with cancer In November, 2020. Jim was one of my closest friends from grade school, and I was blessed to be at his side when he went home to be with Jesus. My niece Jennifer (Jerry's daughter) lost her battle with cancer in June of 2021 and her fighting spirit will be encouraging me as I ride. As always, I'll also be riding in memory of our good friend Lisa Smith, whom we lost on Christmas Day 2006.
Each year, it seems like we have another reason to support Roswell Park. 4 of my good friends are currently dealing with prostate cancer. I'll be riding in honor of, Frank, Mike, Gerry & Wes as well as Barb, who had her own bout with cancer a couple of years ago, but has been declared cancer free. Thank God. Prayers and pedaling are the best thing I can do to help them along.
There are reminders all around me of the great work RPCI does. My sister Elly, as well as friends Larry Krueger and Marcy Hromowyk are cancer free today because of the treatment they received at Roswell.
You can help me make a difference by supporting me in this year's Ride For Roswell. Funds raised through The Ride, support cutting edge research and compassionate, innovative patient care programs at RPCI. For every dollar that we raise, RPCI is able to get another $23 in grants to help them in their fight for a cure. Together, we can help fund cancer cures and save lives.