Almost twelve years ago, I watched cancer take my Grandma from me. I’ll never forget the moment I found out about her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer as my Dad fought back tears telling me, “3 months to live.” This vibrant woman who cheered on the Bills at every home game, polkaed away at parties, and found time to be at all our soccer games and dance recitals, was quickly slipping away from me.
No one in our family would ever be the same. She was the glue that kept us all together. After the night we learned of her diagnosis, it only took a few weeks before she was gone.
This is just one story, and I’m just one person, but this morning I’m riding 30 miles in memory of Carol Sondel and all the other Grandmas out there who have missed out on watching their grandchildren grow up because of cancer.
7,999 others are biking with me this morning on various routes, all with stories of loss, love and overcoming the odds.
While there will surely be tears shed as I ride through those 30 miles, there will also be a happiness I can’t quite explain. A pure joy knowing others out there want to take a stand against cancer and raised millions of dollars to help find the cure. A pride in knowing
Park is in Buffalo, NY, making a difference for people
all over the world.
Thank you to everyone who donated to my Ride (Dick Sondel, Bernie Youra, Debbi Testa, Sharon DeFelice, Matt Testa, Aaron Mason, Alyson O'Connor, Angela Keppel, Suzanne Kashuba, Elizabeth Kresge, Jill McAnaney, Julie Tobin, Lisa Yuhnke, Laura Reed, Steve Foster, Catherine Janese, Casey Herko & Cindy Wagner).
Thank you to all the volunteers that will cheer me on throughout the 30 miles this morning.
A special thanks to my boyfriend, Geoffrey, who will be biking beside me through it all.
And thanks Grandma, from wherever you are watching me. I’m so proud to be your Granddaughter, and so lucky to be a Sondel.
Follow along with me on Twitter throughout the day. Don't worry, I won't be riding and tweeting, but will post before, at rest stops and after. I'm looking forward to also serving as a Ride Marshal for the 30 mile route. To everyone participating, stay safe! Ride right, pass left!
See you at the finish line!