"Cancer Sucks" hit me in 2019, which was the last time I rode with my team, Better Outcomes 2 that day I rolled up to the starting line a total mess despite the formidable-looking Batman costume. Directly after my Dads cremation just a couple of weeks prior to the race's starting gun, I flew for 15 hours to Indonesia to reassure our staff and clients that Dads company would continue to operate and that the staff who had been with my Dad for so many years, who was fondly known as Pak Rudy, would be ok. I made it back (another long flight and 14 hour time change) just in time for the ride. My amazing teammates gathered around me and carried me along - physically completely unprepared, emotionally a disaster and although I actually remember very little of the ride itself, I know that they were there at every turn. I will never be able to say thank you enough.
That was almost two years ago and when I consider how cancer has changed my life and that of my family in that time, it is honestly overwhelming. Looking at it with a bit of distance now I see how this breaks our hearts a little every day but also appreciate how, relatively speaking, it was one of the easier cancer experiences. My Dad passed away within a month and without significant pain. We of course experienced incredible sadness, emotional hardship and then chaos especially in stabilizing and maintaining his business and staff in Indonesia. Although Dad left us with many activities and plans still in his future, many of those with my Mom, he left us without any financial burdens or with anyone really missing the income he provided.
Before my Dad, I always rode and supported cancer charities because I was so grateful that I come from a family largely unimpacted by cancer and yet, despite my Dads diagnosis or perhaps more empowered by it, I have chosen to continue to ride - now in the memory of my Dad and also because I am even more committed to helping to build better outcomes for so many people who suffer and continue to suffer from this terrible disease. As my teammates supported me as a son suffering the very recent and shocking loss of his Dad as he rode in 2019, I now ask for your support.
I'd like to share a bit about who you are supporting when you donate.
This is the first year the ride is being administered directly by the BC Cancer Foundation and the money raised is being used to fund both cutting edge research and treatment for those living through the horrors of cancer. As this is an unprecedented year we will be developing our own route but on August 28th I will be riding over 100km with my amazing team: Better Outcomes 2.
The focus of our team is to support research and treatment of oral cancer. Oral cancer only accounts for 3% of cancer diagnoses this small percentage likely leads to less attention and focus than it otherwise would. Great strides have been made in so many cancers but of those diagnosed with oral cancer only just over half will be alive after 5 years. This is why I feel we must continue to support and build awareness of oral cancer in particular.
So I am asking you to support me with a donation to the BC Cancer Foundation in the 2021 Tour de Cure. Whether it is to provide much needed improvements to the treatment of oral cancer, in the memory of my amazing Dad or your own loved ones, or because you're so impressed with our awesome Batman inspired cycling outfits, every dollar is incredibly appreciated and will serve those fighting this awful disease through direct family and patient support as well as the ongoing advance of research towards a cure.
Thank you so much for your support.