Have you lost someone to cancer? Watched a parent, wife, spouse, partner, child or friend suffer through the treatments? Prayed for their survival, or wound up just praying that they find peace? It's brutal. And if you've been there, you know.
So here's the question: WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE...to have that lost loved one back, even for a few minutes? For one more conversation, one more cup of coffee, and one more hug? WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE to spare someone the pain and anguish that cancer brings each and every time it shows up? To make that difference in the life of someone you know - or someone you don't know? WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE?
We're gonna find out. Because I'm going to ask you to give it. I'm going to ask you to give until you actually feel it. Sure, I'd be grateful for any contribution (every tax-deductible penny of which goes to help support those who are battling it now). And I know some folks just can't give right now and that's okay. But...most of you can give. You just have to choose to give, and then decide how much. If you're like me, you typically contribute something that doesn't impact your weekly or monthly budget and feel like that's good enough. I did my part, and something's better than nothing, right?
But it isn't enough. Not this time.
This time, I need you to take a deep breath and really think about it. WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE? And then I need you to GIVE IT.
When I lost my mom, Edra, to cancer in August 1997, 8 days after my son Sean was born, I would have given anything for her to have had a chance to see him and hold him just once. When our son Erik was battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, I would have given anything to have spared him the years of struggle and pain and discomfort. The chemo and steroids drove his cancer into remission, thank God - but they also ate away at his joints and resulted in his needing bi-lateral hip and right shoulder replacements before the age of 36. What would I have given to have taken away my greatnephew Brayden's cancer, which hammered away at his little body before he was old enough to go to pre-school? (Tough little guy not only survived, but has turned into a pretty good little hockey player!) All around me, family, friends and neighbors have battled cancer. And to be honest, I wouldn't have minded skipping my own bout with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
More than likely, you've seen it up close and personal, too. If you haven't, I hate to inform you that you will. And when it happens, you'll say exactly what I said - what millions of us have said: "I'd give anything to have them back...or have them healed." Well...exactly WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE? I'd challenge you to answer that question honestly, and then make a contribution that truly reflects your answer. Shock me. Shock yourself. I dare you.
Challenge to Conquer Cancer is holding a one-time event to ride across America. Eleven of us will be riding relay-style in small teams, each taking 6 hour shifts on the bike, riding non-stop 24/7 from San Diego to Charleston, SC in less than 10 days. Rain, cold, dark...doesn't matter. We don't stop riding. I figure I'll ride about 650 miles, give or take. We're doing it to raise money and to raise awareness. I'll be on the bike, and you can be my inspiration and my tailwind.
My stated goal is $5,000, but you and I both know that if we all step into this a little bit we can do WAAAAY better than $5,000. So do it. Make this the time you dig deep and give strong. I promise I will bust my butt (literally) on this ride, and that I will be thinking of you - and all of the people we love who have battled this awful disease - every inch of the way.
WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE?
With love and appreciation - John