The Empire State Ride is more than just a bike ride. In July 2022, I will once again be bicycling over 500 miles across New York State to end cancer. Why am I participating in this great venture for the third time? Because I am a cancer survivor and this is a great opportunity for me to pay it forward to help raise funds for cancer research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
On January 5, 2019, I was diagnosed with stomach cancer. I immediately sought a second opinion from an Oncologist at Roswell Park and upon confirmation of the diagnosis scheduled surgery. On February 22, 2019 doctors removed one-half of my stomach and connected cancer. The disease had not progressed further and my lymph nodes were clear.
While recovering in the hospital I saw an announcement about the Empire State Ride to raise funds to end cancer. As a new cyclist I thought this was for me and began training. I immediately started walking the floors of the hospital and in small segments I worked up to walking three miles per day that finally included walking to the elevator and out the front door to go home. As I write this letter today, December 7, 2021, I am two and one-half years cancer free.
My training soon began on the bicycle and I registered to ride ESR 2020. However, Covid prevented us from riding the official routes. So, nearly 300 cyclists rode 550 miles around our homes or wherever we found an open road. I raised just over $3500 with the help of many friends. I knew that this was the right thing for me to do so I registered to ride in ESR 2021.
I have now registered to participate in the ride a third time during the last week of July 2022. Thus my fundraising begins anew. I have set an individual goal of $4000, however I know together you and I can top that amount. My friends from last year and I have formed the riding team "T-Strong" in memory of the wife of one of our team members who passed away after a hard fought battle with cancer. We have established a team fundraiser goal of $50,000. You will see our collective fundraising amount when you look at my individual page. Won't you please consider making a financial contribution to my ride to end cancer? No donation is too small, and every dollar adds up to some thing greater than what any one of us could ever accomplish alone. You can make a donation on-line at empirestateride.com and search me or use my Facebook fundraiser page. All donations through these means go directly to the Empire State ride program at Roswell Park Cancer institute. Regardless of the amount you give or even if you can't donate to this cause, I cherish your prayers for a safe event and that all funds raised will accomplish their purpose to end cancer. My last day in the hospital was the last day of February 2019. The last line of my devotions that day read "You are about to go on a journey to joy" I hope you will find it in your heart to figuratively ride that journey of joy with me.
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