As I sit here at the Halifax airport awaiting a flight to reality after my third cross Canada kids cancer ride, I reflect back not just on the past 10 days or past 4 times I’ve shared the Pacific with National riders but all the way back to 12 years ago. All 3 time frames cemented together by 3 of the most important things in life: family, friends and fun.
First a reflection back to 12 years ago, For it was then, I had the opportunity to work in the Atlantic and was very fortunate to have landed in Hammond Plains. I wanted to jump at the opportunity but it took more than me to make that happen. Kim graciously and selflessly agreed to leave Ontario and take the challenge head on with me. And of course, Monkey was our main focus. I’m forever grateful to Kim and the opportunity because it was these two years living in Atlantic Canada that changed our lives forever. It was filled with the 3Fs, friends that became family and fun. Having had an opportunity to see them along the ride and spend Sunday evening with them, there is no more an important family/friends than the Landry’s. Simple the most wonderful people who We love to pieces. Thanks for blessing our world and welcoming us into yours. This time also taught me about a 4th F, fight. For it was during this time, kim was gravely diagnosed with cancer and given days to live. Needless to say it turned the world upside down. Somebody needs to be that miracle and thankfully Kim was but it wasn’t with unparelled fight and commitment. Once the challenge was accepted, she dove in with determination, will-do attitude and commitment to be here for Monkey and I. Thankful she won and continues to win, providing daily thankfulness and inspiration. To all the folks in Hammond Plains that played a critical role in keeping our world together and moving forward during that most difficult time, thank you. I love each and every one of you. So that’s a snapshot of my 12 year reflection, and a reason we always look forward to coming ” home”.
Now for the ride, each time provides a totally different experience but it ends the same, more friends, more family and most definitely more fun.
This year was a little different though. The Chase challenged us in a way that you can’t even be remotely prepared for, getting across this great but vast country of ours. I’m happy to say we did it but that was the destination, the journey was spectacular and will continue. There has been much said about the 8 riders, 11 volunteers but like everything the words ring true but the action speaks louder. We united as a team, moved as a cohesive and high functioning team, tackled obstacles, met our goals and did our part to give back. You were an outstanding team but most importantly you are amazing people. Thankful we shared this together. Family you are.
More importantly everyone involved with the National Ride sacrificed – time, money, boundless energy etc etc – selflessly doing their individual part to make the world a better place and fight kids cancer.
A touching moment is always the group photo on the last Saturday ride, all united and together. We may have had team 1, team 2 and the Chase – call us what you want but what we are is one big family, one great team, doing one extraordinary event to end one devastating disease.
Until the next adventure,