Sept 21st – A day of awesomeness– Moncton to Charlottetown
As we roll closer to Halifax and the end of our ride, the emotions are rolling all over the place! We had an amazing breakfast today, compliments of wonderful, generous supporters in the community.
Today at breakfast, I sat with Scott, a Dad who lost his son Simon to cancer just over 3 years ago. He talked about Simon and the helplessness he felt as a parent at not being able to help change the diagnosis for his son and all that he had to endure. As a volunteer this year (his wife Fiona is a rider), I asked him how it was for him being involved with the National Kids Cancer Ride. He said he felt less helpless being here and making a difference for kids with cancer. My heart wept for the grace, strength and courage of this man, this Father. Many other volunteers and riders are also sharing this similar journey as Scott and Fiona and I am in awe of each of them, and incredibly inspired.
The dedication this morning was for Sean Collins (his Dad Chris was a former National rider). Sean was born in 1994 and diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma at the age of 9 years old. Sean hated needles and sadly his treatments involved lots of them. After 14 months of treatments, Sean was deemed cancer free and enjoyed being a kid again and all that being a kid entailed. This was only for a short time as he was diagnosed for a second time with cancer, which he won again. Upon returning from a wonderful family trip to Australia and New Zealand, a scan revealed that Sean’s cancer returned for a 3rd time. After finding out the chances of beating this cancer were nil, Sean and his family went for quality of life and decided not to treat. Sean had 2 best selling books written about him. In the book Ten Needles, he is quoted with a profound message about happiness … “live every day like it’s your last day of school, happy and excited for that day … for the moment”. Sean received his angel wings on July 9th 2007, just after his 13th birthday.
We had an opportunity to meet Sean’s Dad, Chris, at Riverview High School. Chris was a previous national rider and an amazing man. The event at Riverview was extraordinary. The whole school came out for the presentation and we met Becca Schofield, an unbelievably inspiring young woman that many of you have probably already heard about. It truly was an honour to meet this young woman. We also got to meet Chloe, a bubbly, happy young cancer survivor … another face of hope 🙂 One of her idols is Taylor, one of our National Riders, and they had an awesome reunion.
New Brunswick declared this past Saturday Becca Schofield Day to honour this Riverview teen. Becca is 17 years old and has terminal brain cancer. Becca has inspired people all over the world with her campaign to perform random acts of kindness #beccatoldmeto. Her school put out a challenge to other schools in New Brunswick to perform random acts of kindness and send in their kindnesses. Several student compiled the lists and cards of kindnesses and presented them to Becca …. drum roll …. Over 16,670 kindnesses were documented and sent in from students around the province! And the random acts of kindness continued throughout the day … more on this in a bit. There was a whole lotta awesomeness going on! It truly was a magical event and having Becca there was incredibly inspiring. She radiates hope and inspiration. Go to #beccatoldmeto to learn more about this amazing young lady.
As we enjoyed some extra time at Riverview High School with the kids, we were shuttled about 50km to get us on track with timing and commitments. As with most of the east coast, I had no idea how hilly NB and PEI are! The weather Gods had the last laugh today, though … as we rode less today than anticipated (about 120km vs 170km), the weather Gods gave us lots of head wind and loads of hills. The weather was gorgeous though as it has been for most of our trip.
The day of awesomeness continued in PEI. One of our earlier morning dedications was for Cassy, who died 4 days after her 13th birthday. When Cassy found out she only had a few months left to live, her family asked her to create a bucket list. She crossed everything off the list except one thing … a trip to PEI. So we brought her along to PEI with us, in stars that we carried with us. Cassy is a shining star in the midst of darkness and her Aunt Deb was a volunteer with NKCR. Our magical and beautiful film maker and photographer, Olya Glotka, created this beautiful tribute to Cassy, for her family, with pictures we took throughout our ride and travels in PEI. To see it brought together in this beautiful creation brought tears to my eyes.
As we cycled up and down the hills, an AquaTerra truck pulled off the road, just ahead of us. The driver got out and proceeded to grab waters out of the truck for us (as we later learned he did with the other team as well). An awesome random act of kindness 🙂 One of our riders gave him a #beccatoldmeto bracelet … love these moments!!
The east coast really is breathtakingly beautiful and way more hilly than I anticipated! We had long hills and a big head wind today, and worked together to complete the ride. It was a day of awesomeness and big emotions. I was absolutely pooped when we hopped in the RV for our shuttle to New Glasgow, NS, and slept almost the entire ride.
Tomorrow we start in New Glasgow … to say I’m excited would be an understatement. Tomorrow I get to see my Dad and lots of relatives and I’m super excited!!!
Love & hugs, Michelle xoxo