This will be my seventh year participating in the Ride for Roswell. Each year has been different, but my base goal is a 10 mile ride.
On the 25th anniversary, I have decided to challenge myself and go for the 20 mile ride. Each and every year this emotional ride has brought me both a sense of pride and fulfillment. There is no better feeling than the one that comes with crossing that finish line, hearing a "thank you for riding" and seeing that final grand total at the end.
During the pandemic, I did a 10 mile bike ride on my own, paired with biking weekly at the gym, logging over 100 miles.
I have walked and volunteered for many organizations, including Light the Night, in honor of my grandfather who lost his battle with lymphoma back in 2008. He will forever be remembered by my family for his great sense of humor and the love he had for his grandchildren. This was my first experience with cancer up close and personal and while it was hard, inspired me to work towards finding a cure. Since then, I have seen too many people lose their battle, but have also been lucky enough to see some amazing people overcome theirs as well.
I am thankful for Roswell being so close to home and for all it has done for both my family and a few of my friends within the past few years. I am also a registered bone marrow donor and encourage everyone to do the same. To me, knowing that I am healthy and am given the opportunity to save someone's life, there's no way I could ever refuse plasma or bone marrow to someone who needs it. Roswell has also been amazing when it comes to those who may want to come in and donate their own platelets. I was able to do that this personally for a friend and the staff there were absolutely amazing.
One of my biggest inspirations is my favorite singer, Andrew McMahon. He has been a huge influence on me most of my young adult to adult life, approximately 16 years now. Not many know, but he had beaten Leukemia and now raises money for his own charity, The Dear Jack Foundation. Recently, I have volunteered the small amount of spare time I had to send cards and small homemade gifts over to the warriors through the Dear Jack Foundation. In November 2017, I flew to Denver, Colorado to take part in the Dear Jack Foundation Benefit which was such an amazing experience. We did it all again in 2018 in Boston, MA.
In 2018, I unfortunately lost my dear friend, Liz shortly after my last Ride for Roswell. We met up after the ride and promised to hang out again when I returned from my trip to Chicago (where I was raising money for The Dear Jack Foundation). She, sadly, unexpectedly passed while I was away. I will be riding for her as well as my grandfather and the warriors present and past from the Dear Jack Foundation.
With help of my team, we raised over $21,000 for The Dear Jack Foundation and I have raised over $3,775 for Ride for Roswell in to date.