You are often told to connect with those whom you are trying to get donations from. Unfortunately for us, cancer is one of the largest ties that any of us will have. So let me tell you a story of my connection with cancer.
My story starts before I can even remember. My father was diagnosed with melanoma when I was really young (3 years old). Like I said, I don't really remember much from the time, but what I do remember is all of the time that I have been able to spend with my father ever since. See, my father was treated for his illness at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Without this hospital I would not be able to say that my father got to watch me graduate from high school, then college, get married to my beautiful wife, have my wonderful children or attend countless hockey games (ones that I have played in or ones that we watched together). I have been blessed to be able to grow up and know my dad and can only wish that I can be half the man that he is.
This, unfortunately, is not the fate of many cancer patients. Just a couple of years ago, my friend was diagnosed with this terrible disease and unfortunately he lost his battle. This young man was a great mentor, friend and co-worker. He was taken far to early and will be missed by his family and friends for many years to come. To my dismay, my story doesn't end their. I have several members of my family that have been diagnosed with some form of cancer, most recently my grandmother.Each member has had to endure the battle, which is never easy. I can't claim to know what it is like to have to fight this battle, and I hope I never need to, but I can tell you it is a fight for your life. It is a battle that you can't fight alone, and it is one that will test every facet of your relationships with family and friends.
That used to be it, that used to be the full story, that was all I could say about it until everything changed. Now, I don't want to come off as having had to fight for my life, I didn't. However, everything changed with just a few words. In February of 2018, I had to have emergency surgery to remove my appendix. Once it was removed, it was discovered that I had a carcinoid tumor inside my appendix. Being told from a surgeon that I had cancer but they were pretty sure that got it all is scary. Being told that you now need to have an oncologist, even more so. Being told that had you listened to the voice in your head that you were feeling better and didn't need the CT that day (the day I had to have surgery), that you probably would be much worse off later. Hearing, if it had been slightly bigger or touching other things, that you would be scheduling a surgery to remove just about half of your intestons is shocking. But to have the ability to know that I hospital like Roswell is there if I ever need it, is so reassuring that words cannot express my true feelings. Now my cancer is one that 'if you could choose which one to get, it is this one' because it is very slow growing, but that also means I have to continually check to see if it has come back. Hopefully it never will.
This is why I ride. I ride to raise money to find a cure for this illness. I ride to raise money to help patients receive better care. I ride because if it weren't for this hospital, I wouldn't be able to ride with my father. Thank you Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Please help me raise money for this very worthy hospital.