Good afternoon and Happy Sunday to everyone! I hope and pray your weekend is filled with joy and happiness. I expect nothing less than for you to be smiling and appreciating all that has been given to you. Take a look around. Look at all you have accomplished in life, and be happy you have love and support in your to guide you through it all. Always remember you are never alone in this journey, and you can always rely on each other no matter what. Be kind and courteous to everyone you come across each and every day. Spread care; spread love; spread what good humans can do in this seemingly world filled with bad news. I know first-hand what good can become of society. I see it every day. There isn’t a single person on this journey with us with hatred in their hearts, and that makes me smile so big. It reassures me that no matter what happens to me, my family will be continuing on in a world where there is hope and happiness; a world filled with people like you; a world I always knew existed. Do not let it end with me. Take whatever you have learned from our journey, and use it for the betterment of your lives and those you continue to touch. Through you all, life seems to make sense. Through you all and your support, love, and care, I am able to carry on. Thank you!
By now, many, if not all of you, have caught word (or at least I hope you have) of Cycle for Survival. My amazing team and I participated on February 9 in Chicago. Like many things in life, you can never appreciate such an event, such an atmosphere, and such an amazing organization until you experience it first-hand. I have been taught this many times in my life, and I am fortunate enough to be experiencing it more often with this journey. I am fortunate to fight my disease, and help others fight back at the same time. It’s an incredible feeling. It’s almost surreal at times because I cannot believe the course my life has taken.
Cycle for Survival is more than raising funds for rare cancers. It’s more than any single persons fight. It’s an idea and a dream that is becoming reality. It’s an opportunity for us all to fight for rare cancers and share our stories. It’s an opportunity to raise awareness and remember those who fought so hard for so long; encourage those who are fighting to stay strong; and, equally as important, to help those not yet diagnosed fight with greater tools and support in the days to come. Cycle is a large family of people with one common goal; to cure cancer, to cure rare cancers. For far too long, rare cancers have been underfunded and lacked any significant research. The tides are changing thanks to one woman’s amazing fight with her incredible husband and family by her side every step of the way and it is spreading like wildfire.
We had the great honor and privilege of meeting Cycle for Survival cofounder David Linn and his inspiring journey. His wife, Jennifer Goodman Linn, and himself are two of the most inspirational, outgoing, and determined people I have ever met. My fight, or any inspiration and strength I may instill upon others, does not hold any weight when compared to what they have helped accomplish. Sadly, she passed away before I could ever meet her. However, her life is forever instilled with Cycle for Survival. Her life is never a sad story. She is gone far sooner than any of us have wanted, but her love, dedication, and advocacy fight on. I have often heard people ask others “if there was one person you could meet, alive or in memories, who would it be?”. I have always thought this question to be silly now. I wish I could have met Jen. I wish I could steal some of her determination. Thank you Linn Family for all you do.
As for our day in Chicago, it was absolutely amazing, breathtaking, emotional, and exhausting! Our team grew to over 30 people by the time the event took place, and we still had a few people unable to show up last minute because of work complications and other circumstances. They were there in spirit though! It is amazing the group of people that came together that day; not just for me, but for the cause. I love to see everyone in person. I loved for them to meet my wife and sons, my parents and family. I have known many of my teammates for many years, and it seems like our lives haven’t missed a day together since we last spoke. It was amazing seeing the friendships form and the way we all spent the day as if we have all known each other forever. I absolutely love my Cycle team.
With that said, please give those you know on my team a big hug and kiss; thank them, not only for me, but for all those suffering from a disease. Each and every one of them is an amazing and unique person. The world needs more people like them. Here is the full list of my team and how I know them. 🙂 I love you all so very much.
Here is a list of our corporate sponsors. Please support them in any way you can, or, at the very least, send them a thank you email for their amazing support!
The event itself is purely inspirational. It is a day filled with stories, words of encouragement, new friendships, old friendships, and new beginnings. It is a day to truly honor, remember, and pay respect to those so valiantly fighting and to those who have lost the battle, but not the war! The war continues for as long as there is hope within us. We fight this war for all who have been touched by cancer. We fight because we have no other choice. We will not give up! The people involved with Cycle for Survival are our family now too. Even though Cycle for Survival is growing in recognition and awareness exponentially, the atmosphere is still that of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinners with those you love most. It is relaxed, but motivating; it is calm, but driven; it is inspirational and humbling.
When a person is faced with something such as cancer, you soon realize you have no control on the past. You do not waste any time on trying to figure out why this has happened, what if I did this differently, and how unfair it is. Instead, you concentrate on the future. You figure out how you can help and move forward. You become determined in helping others who will, unfortunately, follow in your footsteps. You surround yourself with people encompassed in the same passion and drive; people with lives filled with love and compassion, hope and strength. Cycle for Survival is filled with people of this caliber.
I have often asked myself prior to Cycle for Survival, “what can I do?”, “should I form an organization?”, “I need to spread awareness, but how?”, etc. I realized with this event, why reinvent the wheel? The problem with circumstances such as those we face with rare cancers and awareness is unity. Too often, you see so many people with a common drive, strength, and determination, but no organization. Cycle, thanks to the wonderful founders, entails such qualities as compassion, unity, and strength. It is important for patients, caregivers, and extended support networks to unify with one banner. Strength in numbers is the key to being heard. We have found an organization that will provide us with that. It is a very well-oiled machine; the groundwork has been laid; the hard work, sweat, and tears have been utilized and shed in order to get things started. It is amazing the things that can be done and are being done with Cycle for Survival and rare cancers. We are being heard, and having fun while doing it! Thank you for an amazing day!
No matter the circumstance you are handed, life does not have to be negative. Life does not have to end the moment you are dealt horrible diagnosis. We will all expire; it is a known fact. Granted, you don’t think about it as much as I do, but that is okay. You should never have to think about it! However, you begin to appreciate so much. You begin to thank God for all of the blessings He has provided you up to this point. It is amazing what a support group such as mine can do for a person. No matter what happens, do not lose sight of what is truly important in life. In the end, whenever that may be, you need to count your experiences, the knowledge you have gained, the love you have been given, and the obstacles you have overcome to be the unique individual you are at that very moment. Do not count the years you have lived and use that as a measure of longevity. One’s life is not measured in time, but in experience. So live life; allow yourself to cry; to laugh; to get angry, but forgive; to be sad, but reflect; to be proud, yet humble. Just live. It is all you have control over. Take each day and the course it takes in stride.
In closing, I would like those who were involved with Cycle for Survival (attending the actual event, donating, spreading awareness, just following our cause, etc.) to post below your feelings on the day, on Cycle for Survival in general, on my journey or your feelings in general. You can post anonymously without any hesitation! I want to know your thoughts. I want to know your feelings. You can be short or long winded. You can be descriptive or to the point. Just share with me.
Thank you for an amazing day! As my teammate Candace said, next year we now know what it is all about. Next year will be even bigger and better! Going into something new, you never know what to expect, but, now that we have an event under our belts, we are that much better at advocating, recruiting, and spreading the word. Thank you to my amazing team for a very memorable day! I hope many more of you will join us next year, and I hope all of my teammates return for another year. I truly love you all so very much!