This August, I will be participating in the BC Cancer Foundation's flagship cycling challenge, the 2022 Tour de Cure BC. To give back what I can to the medical teams that saved my life, I am participating as a survivor and have committed to riding in the 100km distance class.
My personal goal is to raise $3,000 for BC Cancer. Please read my cancer journey below and consider donating what you can!
In June 2021, I was diagnosed with stage IV follicular lymphoma, which had transformed into the hyper-aggressive Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Doctors in the ER told me survivability for this cancer is typically 3-5 years for 60% of patients.
2 weeks later, I began the first of seven weeks of chemotherapy (one week of treatment at BC Cancer, 2 weeks of recovery, and repeat for 21 weeks). The oncologists at BC Cancer had a much different outlook than the ER doctors, and planned to fully treat both cancers using very potent chemotherapy cocktails adminstered through a direct chest port, through the spinal column, and into the abdomen.
After 75 nights away from home, 6 months of treatment, 7 visits to the ER in-between treatments, 3 recurrent infections and 1 serious allergic reaction, I was discharged from BC Cancer on November 7, 2021 thanks to the work of the oncology teams and the support of my loved ones. All of my scans since have been clear of cancer and very positive.
While spending one of my many days in BC Cancer in September, plugged into a 96-hour chemotherapy drip, I felt inspired to register for the Tour de Cure after seeing a poster in the halls during one of my nightly 10-minute walks around the inpatient floor, dragging my IV pole alongside (which I began to refer to as a Christmas tree, given all of the lights and noises it makes).
Registering was the easy part. I did not own a bicycle when I registered, nor had I ever even ridden a road bike. In February 2022, I walked into Giant Vancouver to provide them the easiest sale they had ever had: "I know nothing about bikes, but I am riding 100km in August, so you tell me what I need." 6 weeks later I brought my bike home and have been going for training rides every weekend, extending the total ride distance each week.
I ride to raise money for the teams that have helped save my life, and countless others, through cancer treatment, research, and support. Please consider donating to help reach my goal of $3,000 in donations!