If I had to describe myself it could be dreamer, traveler, lover of life, and cancer survivor. I would love to say I’m the cancer survivor that’s experienced too much, but that is all of us, isn’t it?
I am 33 and have had breast cancer twice. My first round was in 2011 when I was 28 years old. I had ductal carcinoma in situ at the time, and opted for a double mastectomy so I would never have to deal with cancer again. Four years later, as I was mentally preparing for the party I would have when I was 5 years disease free, I found a lump. There was a less than 5% chance my cancer would come back, but it did.
In 2015 I had my first chemotherapy. In 2016 I did two lumpectomies, followed by 6 weeks of radiation. Because of my cancer type, I’ll be doing immunotherapy (herceptin) for a year and estrogen blockers for another 5 years. Throughout it all, I fight for my normal life and focus on the best routes to live a long, disease-free life.
As of 2017, my port has come out and my hair has been coming back. I achieved my first triathlon as well as my first athletic competition. And I raised over $1,000 for Fred Hutch in the Obliteride.
I wholeheartedly believe that exercise and attitude fight cancer, so I live for causes like Obliteride. I know that the impact Obliteride makes is what is so significant. Research is the reason so many of us have a better chance of surviving. Research is what will propel us into a future of life with cures. For that reason, I ride for my own life. I ride for my loved ones, my friends, my family, and all the people that I don’t know but I still think about. I want less funerals and I want more birthdays. I want mothers and fathers to see their children grow up. I want children to have a long, full life. I have seen and experienced the mental and physical toll that cancer can take on patients and families, and I believe enough is enough.
And finally, I ride to bring hope to every cancer patient dreaming that a cure is around the corner. That if they can just hold on for long enough, they will live. They will be disease free and they will spend the rest of their lives enjoying every single moment.
I ride for Obliteride, so that hope can spread like wildfire and dry the tears of cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers everywhere.