I never understood what was cancer when I was growing up in the Philippines. The word itself resonated an inevitable death. The main cure that people relied on was either an over the counter antibiotic or prayers.
Lack of knowledge, unhealthy life practices, and harmful living conditions was pervasive. I grew up with neighbors that drink religiously, peers as young as 7 years old having access to cigarettes, and people who can't afford a healthy diet. But this was the common lifestyle, “the culture” of my community. I was surrounded by people who were unaware and unintentionally damaging their body. This was a common practice in my family as well. Fortunately, my family and I moved to America for a better living condition. However, the lifestyles we left were not foreign here in the states. Now, I fear that the product of being uninformed of risk factors as well as preventative measures will haunt my family. I fear for my dad and my brother especially. Smoking for them was as second nature as drinking water. This type of behavior increases the chance of developing cancer and other health complications. Therefore, I want to contribute to the fight against cancer before it affects those I love.
Furthermore, I ride for my best friend and fellow rider, Jason Nguyen. I’ve known Jason since freshman year of high school, and he is one of the most genuine and humble person I’ve met in my life. His stepmom was battling cancer and during those times, it seemed that he was fighting alongside. It was an especially difficult time since I had little understanding of cancer. I didn't know what to say or how to be there for him. But I always remind him that he’ll always have a companion in this battle no matter what. I want to be able to constantly support him through this journey and help him understand that he is not alone. I learned that this disease does not only affect the cancer victims but their loved ones as well.
Cancer does not care who it inflicts no matter how young, old, poor, or rich. The battle against cancer does not prevail without knowledge; a conversation needs to start in order to raise more awareness. I ride to inform people about recognizing risk factors, promoting a cancer prevention consciousness, and to provide hope to those afflicted with this disease.
Lindsey Carden Wiley