Our team is riding the 2022 Ride for Roswell in honor of our fellow yogi, Alissa Vogelsang who fights Cancer every day. Here is Alissa's message as to why the ride is so important to her:
8 years ago, I first heard those life altering words: "you have CANCER." Talk about having the wind knocked out of you. After several biopsies, multiple surgeries, months of chemotherapy, weeks of radiation, and countless tears, several choice words, and summoning strength from places I didn't even know existed, I was pronounced a Survivor. I moved off of active treatment to a preventative daily pill. Until... a few years later when I started feeling pain in my shoulder after a weekend away at a yoga festival. I'd been vigilant about getting my mammograms and check-ups. I was more worried I'd done too many chaturangas than I was worried about my cancer spreading.
It turns out cancer doesn't care how old you are. It doesn't care what you do for a living, how many friends you have, if you're married or single, if you live in a city, pay your taxes, or even if you've eaten your fruits and vegetables that day. Cancer doesn't care how aggressively we treated it the first time, that I'd bid it farewell after all those chemo sessions and sure as hell didn't welcome a reunion! This time I learned my cancer had Metastasized to my bones. I hadn't realized there was a word scarier than "Cancer" until I heard the word "Metastasized". I now have Metastatic Breast Cancer (stage 4).
I've been fighting Metastatic Breast Cancer since 2018. While treatable, Metastatic Breast Cancer cannot be cured. I will fight this disease for the rest of my life. Around 30% of people with early stage breast cancer go on to later develop Metastatic disease, just like I did. Life expectancy of an individual with MBC averages about 36 months after diagnosis. We lose approximately 42,000 people each year in the US to Metastatic Breast Cancer, which equates to about 115 people every day... Yet thanks to science I am here and THRIVING!!!
I'm riding the 2022 Ride for Roswell to help fund cancer research so that my story will start to become the rule, not the exception. I'm riding in honor of so many friends I've lost along this battle. I'm riding for those whose treatments are so encompassing they cannot dream of pedaling a bike themselves. I'm riding as a way of saying thank you to my team at Roswell Park for all that they do to keep me alive!
I'm honored and humbled to ride with so many loved ones this year on our Space on Seneca team! Please help us raise critical funds to support the thousands of patients who turn to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center for hope each year. We'd be honored to have you support our efforts and join our team in riding as well!
As I ride this year, I will be celebrating this gift of a life I get to live and hoping that the research made possible by this ride will allow me many more years with all of you!