As riders we all go through some pain. We have sore legs, butts, necks, wrists, etc. from riding day after day. We have covered more than 1,000 km since we began our ride at White Rock 7 short days ago. I am no stranger to pain, having dealt with hip surgery to replace both my hips due to a degenerative condition. Before the surgery I was on opioid pain killers for months just to be able to live a “normal” life.
But what we go through on the ride, and even what I have gone through personally pales in comparison to the pain and anguish these kids go through. Today we learned about Ty, who was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukemia (AML) in January, 2009. Ty’s initial cancer protocol brought him to the brink of death five times over the next six months. This seemed to help, and he was discharged, but less than a year later he relapsed, and had to undergo more chemotherapy, and bone marrow transplants. He had numerous infections. and suffered from chronic GVHD (graft vs host disease) which attacked his skin, eyes, mouth and lungs. After three visits to the ICU, Ty passed away in September 2012.
In addition to the physical pain, Ty also experienced mental anguish: isolation from friends and family due to infections, he spent a great deal of time in isolation in a 10×12 hospital room, alone or with his mother.
Today’s ride was hard. It was cold, wet and windy. The roads were uneven, and the riding was rough. Our bodies were beat up and stressed. But we do these things in the hope that the funds we raise, over $400,000 for this ride, and over $10 million dollars in the years that the ride has operated, and the awareness we bring to the communities we visit will mean that one day, no parent will hear the words “your child has cancer”
You can help by donating at richmeesters.nationalkidscancerride.com