A LETTER TO YOU
(Yes you, from Maria.)
Sometimes events and people weave themselves together to create opportunities to change the world.
On October 7th, my sister, Jenny, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Jenny is the heart of her rambunctious, happy family, but she has also touched thousands of people with her ability to listen and help others feel loved and accepted. Her diagnosis was a shock to her family and her community, but Jenny remains joyful through her surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
I’m 10 months younger than Jenny and a record setting long-distance cyclist who rides a unique kind of bike. My latest record was set 2 weeks after hearing that Jenny had brain cancer. My anger and frustration drove me to pedal my front-wheel-drive recumbent bike 469 miles in 24 hours, demolishing the previous record. From the catharsis of that ride, the encouragement of my husband and the support of my coach grew the idea to use my bike and abilities and do something positive. I’ve entered the Race Across America (RAAM), to be held in June of 2013, with the goal of raising a million dollars for brain cancer research.
There is lots of promising research on brain cancer. Getting from laboratory research to effective treatment is a challenging road. It’s a lot like racing your bike across the continental United States in about 10 days. It’s very tough, but with money, dedication, planning, and plain-old get- up-every-day-and-do-it perseverance-- it can be done. Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure is an organization that can get it done.
A million dollars in the hands of an organization like Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) will bring university research to effective treatments for those with brain cancer. ABC2 is like my bike, very effective, but with a different approach. They facilitate collaborations among researchers, biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical companies that would otherwise not occur. They believe “that the path to new treatments will not be discovered by one mind working alone, but rather by many minds working as one.”
Many minds working as one is the approach of the five dedicated people (two of whom are Jenny’s sons), who have joined with me to raise a million dollars. They came up with a plan to take a grass roots approach, using social media to meet the goal. The plan: Use social media and influential people like you to help us find 200,000 people to give at least $5 each.
My sister’s diagnosis of brain cancer, my ability to ride a unique bike, an organization that brings funding to brain cancer research, and a team of young people using social media to spread the word have all come together with steady persistent effort and optimism to change the future for the better.
Today there is no cure for brain cancer, but together you and I can change that.