In 2007 when I was eight years old, my paternal grandmother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at the same time that my aunt (her daughter) was diagnosed with late stage uterine cancer. I grew up close to both of them; we all lived not far from each other in the suburbs of Houston, Tx. My aunt was a true “doting aunt” as she had no children of her own, so she spoiled my brother, my cousins and me. I watched my grandmother and aunt fight courageously against this disease which was painful and merciless. I also watched my mother, father, and other aunt work tirelessly to care for them. Unfortunately, two years later my aunt lost the fight. My grandmother managed the disease with treatment until she passed in 2012. Then a few years ago, my father’s other sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a painful and difficult battle she is recovered, but not without scars. Her tenacity and courage inspire me.
So I ride for my beloved aunts and grandmother, and all those who bravely fight this disease. I ride for my father who has endured such sorrow and loss and his ability to persevere and all the families who have lost loved ones. I ride for my mother, aunt and all the caregivers. I ride for hope for a full understanding of this terrible epidemic leading to a cure and complete eradication in my lifetime.