Thursday, July 22, 2010

Support my 100-mile Ride Against Cancer

Dear Friends: As many of you know, 20 months ago, I received what I thought at the time was devastating news: I had cancer, specifically, mantle cell lymphoma, one of the rarest forms of the disease, with only 3,000 cases worldwide and fairly grim survival rates. I wrote many of you an email with the news, aptly titled, "A Big Hill To Climb." Thanks to an innovative new treatment known as The Nordic Regime, an incredible medical team, a strong and loving wife, and all of you amazing friends, I am lucky enough to be writing you today about climbing a different kind of hill, the sort that I like to climb, because, as you know, I'm a masochist.

I'm now six weeks into a 10-week training regime for the Livestrong Challenge in Philadelphia, a
100-mile bike ride to raise funds to support people fighting cancer and their families. I've been cancer free since mid-way through my 6 rounds of chemo and bone marrow transplant. I don't use words like survivor, but don't think I don't thank my lucky stars every day that I wake up and think about getting on the bike to train instead of getting in the car to go to chemo or get another blood test or scan. I view this ride as a celebration of the blessings I've received, of my good health and good luck, and a giant thank you to LIVESTRONG, a.k.a., The Lance Armstrong Foundation, which was the source of vital encouragement, support, and inspiration to Kathleen and me throughout my treatment and the aftermath.

So on Sunday, August 22nd, I'll be getting on the bike at 7:30 and riding a Century, 100 miles through the hills around suburban Philly. I've been training six days a week since mid-June for this, and while I'm no longer the rider I was at 29 years old, when I rode a Century in under 4½ hours, I'm still holding my own for a soon-to-be-47 year-old. I rode nearly 60 miles over the mountains in Vermont this past Saturday, and while the climbing and the heat kicked my butt, I kicked it right back.

So, I'll do the training. I'd like to ask you to do one thing to help me out: Make a donation, of any amount, to support my ride. You can give $5 or $50 or any amount that suits you, but please let me know that you're right there with me as I climb 4,337 feet of hills that are still nothing compared to the hills I had to climb 20 months ago. Making a contribution is easy. You can go to my Livestrong Web Page and donate directly there, or if you're friends with me on Facebook, you can go to my user profile and click on the Livestrong tool that's on the left side of my page.

Thank you for all that you've done already to support me getting this far. Anything you can give will help others like me and will help me make the most of the incredible gift that a second chance at life represents.



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