Year two for me. Knowing what I accomplished personally last year has only motivated me to train differently and harder this year. The love I have found for riding has increased tremendously and my determination to raise dollars, even more than that.
This year our team rides in honor of Koby Gruenwald. A boy I had known for years in my small community outside of my even smaller Cancer world before the two worlds collided. My son Daniel diagnosed just a year prior from the same tiny private school raised terror for friends and so many families I loved. How would this community handle yet another one of our own hit by this tragic monster. But I knew from the moment I heard Koby's diagnosis, this was different than Daniel. I had been around the block now for a while to know Koby's diagnosis was in a whole other ballpark of the Cancer arena. Koby from the get-go would have far fewer options than Daniel ever had. That was just the nature of the beast. It is NOT OK. From day one I watched the Gruenwald family fight and a community mourn a beautiful child gone and forever 13.
I get sad. I get angry. I get motivated. I find riding helps me, but it doesn't change things. Lending your voice and giving your dollars DOES something. This is my call to action.
When I ride, I try to relax but I can't. I push myself, remembering when my son screamed endlessly in pain, and it makes me complain less. I push myself, thinking of him as I watched every drop of poison go into my son, hoping this time it would work and that helps me get up one more hill. When I can't go any further I remember how many days I didn't sleep listening to beeping monitors, making sure Daniel was still breathing, and that makes me go farther. I watched that kid relearn to walk and push through rehab like a champ. If he can do it I can do it. I have Daniel here with me and I am forever grateful. The Gruenwald's don't have Koby, Bernie doesn't have Nathan and David doesn't have his Trevor, the Boyle's don't have Tay, the Claudia doesn't have Will and the list goes on and on. I don't forget that with every revolution of the wheel.
Kids and families go through so much and I learned that the ride is supposed to hurt. It is supposed to challenge your strength. It takes me to a better physical and mental health. I am aware the ride itself is not for everyone, so I boldly ask you to open your heart and your wallet to donate so that no family goes through what ours do. I need your dollars for CCBD's wellness program and research so that we can kill this beast known as Childhood Cancer.