I don't really know where to begin as I sit here reflecting on this years Cycle for Survival. As much as I want to say that it was a transformative experience, I hesitate. One way that I have tried to pay tribute to Jen Linn is by resisting the urge to write empty phrases. But the cliche keeps hammering my brain..transformative experience....I just can't shake it.
There's the monumental sum of money that was raised which will actually transform the seeds of ideas, that are already germinating in the minds of the scientists at Sloan, into tangible results. These results will transform the treatment modalities that determine whether people live, die or struggle somewhere in between.
These transformations are built into the fiber of cycle, they drive us to donate, ride and raise awareness for the need to fund rare cancer research. But when I sit here thinking of the past couple of months and all that led up to the culmination of the events, I am brought to tears by the transformations I saw in the hearts of my friends who had no idea that people loved them so much. They reached out with shaky hands, unsure of how they'd be received and were greeted by such generosity that they no longer felt helpless, or hopeless in their lives.
I watched as people flew in from all over the world to sit on those bikes, I watched as people embraced other survivors for the first time in their lives, I watched as people reached out for and received closure from long open wounds that never healed, I watched as people smoked themselves for the entire 4 hour ride in honor of their loved one. I just can't shake it, our bodies, our minds, our hearts, our lives were transformed.