Dear family and friends,
The trees are revealing buds they’ve secreted away all winter and the sun is showing its face a little longer each day. It’s perfect cycling weather. On the heels of a difficult few months with my heart, I intended to enjoy leisurely rides and take a break from cycling for a cause. Last year I was proud to raise funds for cancer research via LiveStrong as a member of Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting For Susan. Often I was asked about my connection to cancer. I was grateful to reply that I had no immediate connection to cancer and my reason for riding for LiveStrong was that I wanted to keep it that way.
I hope you’ve never received the news that a loved one has cancer. It’s a moment that turns everything upside down. This month I received the call that my Gramma Betty was diagnosed with cancer. Since I was a kid, I’ve marveled at the postcards emblazoned with photos of her riding a camel at the pyramids or parasailing over the ocean. In her office hangs a world map covered in pins marking all the countries she’s visited. Gramma Betty is an explorer at heart with a passion for seeing all the beauty this world holds.
My grandmother’s cancer is advanced and she will soon leave me with only memories of our time together. The realization that I cannot save her is one that jolts me from sleep in the quiet hours of the night. The only thought that quells my sadness is the fact that I can raise money for researching a cure. And so this season, I’m pulling on my Fat Cyclist gear to ride for LiveStrong, to ride for my grandmother.
When people ask me about my connection to cancer, I will swallow the lump in my throat, brush aside my tears and tell them about Gramma Betty who used to ride camels and who has made a mark on my life so lasting and deep that it cannot be marked with a pin.
On July 17th-18th, I’ll ride 204 miles from Seattle to Portland. It’s fitting that I’m riding a double century this year because I’m twice as hurt that cancer has made this battle personal. Please join me in my fight against cancer by making a tax-deductible donation online at http://sanjose2010.livestrong.org/aliciamccauley. I can’t thank you enough for your generosity and support.