Everyone knows someone whose life has been affected by cancer.
My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 renal cell carcinoma in 2017. We were devastated, but our pain eased a bit after learning the cancer was encapsulated, which meant the cancer hadn’t spread anywhere else. While my dad was in surgery to remove his kidney, we sat in a waiting area at Strong Memorial Hospital. Occasionally a name would be called through the loudspeaker advising a family member to walk up to a communal phone hanging from the wall. On the other end of the line, a nurse or doctor would provide an update. The phone rang twice for us – I remember anxiously watching my mom from a distance trying to read her body language to better prepare myself for the “news” to come. The first call was from a nurse telling us surgery was underway and everything was going fine. The second call came not long after the first from the doctor – he told us the tumor wasn't encapsulated and appeared to be aggressive. Unfortunately, in 2019 the cancer metastasized to his lung and then to his brain in 2020. I’m fortunate to share my dad is alive, but he has faced many challenges over the past 5 years – challenges no one should have to endure.
I’ve spent many days and nights pondering what I can do to help bring awareness to cancer. This July, I’ve committed myself to cycle over 500 miles to end cancer.
My initial plan was to raise money for cancer research and to ride the 500+ miles to honor my dad. However, I began thinking about all my friends and family who have been affected by cancer, and I realized my purpose extends much farther.
I will be riding in honor of the following people:
- My Dad, Ken Eveland (kidney cancer)
- My Grandma, Janet Knowlton (breast cancer)
- My Great Grandma, Ruth McLellan (breast cancer)
- My Aunt, Carol Daniels (colon cancer)
- My Uncle, Ed Eveland (bladder cancer)
- My Cousin, Kelly Smart (breast cancer)
- Weston Runions (extrarenal rhabdoid tumor)
- Tracy Olson (melanoma)
- JoAnn Alessi (pancreatic cancer)
- Michael Weise (leukemia)
- Tara LaPore (breast cancer)
- Shelly Stein (brain cancer)
- Bob Anthony
- Cindy Brown (colon cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer)
- Danielle Magnat (sarcoma)
With permission, each week I will share the story of an individual noted above to raise awareness of cancer. I truly believe this is my opportunity to make a difference and impact cancer research. This event benefits Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center— America’s first cancer center. Every dollar raised advances cancer research and brings us a step closer to ending cancer.
Will you donate to my Empire State Ride to end cancer? Thank you for your support!
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