Why I do this (Michel)

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I often get asked, why do I do this? It has been my honour and joy to participate in R2S for the last 8 years with a wonderful group of caring and very dedicated people all in the hope of finding a cure or at the very least better quality of life and ways to mitigate the frigg’n disease’s impact on those afflicted and their families.

I had decided I wasn’t going to do the ride this year. This ole body is beaten up with ailments. Lots of new commitments in my new community of Saturna and training is a challenge. But then I heard this from my friend/colleague:

What began December 01, 2018, with a trip to Emergency for suspected cardio issues, has turned into the fight of my life 6 days later. After blood work, x-rays, and multiple CT Scans … diagnosis is widespread cancer throughout my abdominal region. It is beyond surgery and radiation. The only treatment left is chemotherapy...that may give me 4, perhaps 12 … maybe 18 months to live. The fight of my life begins.

I knew immediately that I had to do the ride again this year – how could I not? How important are my insignificant concerns in the face of my friend’s illness? And not just him – all those affected by cancer. He went on to say:

Up until last week, I had never even spent a night in the hospital. All my “ailments” have been mostly minor, and easily treatable, resulting in really only minor disruptions in my life. Today … I am a “cancer patient.” I join the leagues of those I know, and have known, who are in a serious fight … perhaps for life itself. Be assured, the emotion … sadness I feel, is not about my situation. I feel that I have never supported enough.... empathized enough … or loved enough … those who walk the road of serious illness. Today I walk with them … and maybe I can even walk for them. This journey will teach me much … 

I am inspired by my friend’s words. He reminds me that we are in this together and it’s important that we all help in whatever way we can. I will do my part by riding 400 kilometers from Kelowna to Delta in one day – a comparatively small thing.Again, this past weekend I was inspired by everyone. Kerry and Vicki’s words, Gary’s battle, I’ve ridden next to Gary and laughed, chatted, disparaged Larsen Hill. I looked around that circle this weekend WOW! No one in that circle judges … we are there for one reason, raising money for research.

I struggled Sunday, jet lag, fatigue, less training and there I was again causing a “gap” … Marcus appears and offers to pull me to close the gap, numerous times into Campbell Valley … one of hundreds of examples I’ve experienced over the last 8 years.

It’s taken years for me to in Kerry’s words “Get Over Yourself!” I’m here to raise money for cancer research so that maybe – just maybe – in the future so no one will hear the words, “4, perhaps 12 … maybe 18 months to live”.

Michel