Pelotonia 2017 is now over and in the books. Many folks may know the ride itself occurs in early August but the fundraising actually continues until the first weekend in October.
With this deadline looming, I got yet another life affirming note that the weird Cancer universe likes to send my way from time to time. I had recently re-posted my blog “How the Hell Did I Get Cancer” for a variety reasons on twitter and Facebook. The very next day, I got a notification that I had received a healthy donation to my Pelotonia page. I really had not been actively trying solicit more donations and only sort of recognized the donor’s name.
I wrote back to say, ‘Thanks’ and hope to get a response that jogged my memory enough to remember more fully our connection to each other.
I got that and more.
To be thoughtful towards this person’s privacy, I’ve redacted personally identifying details, but here is the part that made me rock back in my chair.
“I was very sad to have read about all you’d gone through. My Dad passed away nearly 3 years ago due to melanoma cancer that had spread to his brain. He was healthy his entire life and fought hard after his diagnosis… but had succumb to the illness on his 63rd birthday. It was terrible to see the brain scans and have all those meetings with doctors and nurses and hospice workers, not to mention the meds and side effects and his gradual decline in condition.
Needless to say, when I saw your story and how hard you fought personally, I was felt inspired and motivated to contribute.
Way to go, man.”
I think about the fact that I could be that Dad and my kids in the shoes of this donor almost every day. My youngest was so little when I got sick that I think she was shielded from a lot of the possible outcomes of my illness. I am so lucky to have stayed healthy enough that she is now old enough to start asking those hard questions.
And once again, someone else has pointed out to me what a super power being a Cancer survivor is to others. I think I too often take it for granted. I just want to be me — emphasis on the little M. But I guess if I am going to have super powers, I also have to take on the rest of the Spiderman mantra. I do have a great responsibility to my community and will stand up on any soapbox you happen to have to tell me story, share my strength, and make sure we march on to the one goal #endcancer.
So this Last Donation is now my foundation stone for #Pelotonia18.
Some team members will contribute periodically throughout the season as we ramp up to Pelotonia weekend in August.