Pedal the Cause

I'm running/walking: 5K

Team: Powered by Hope

ID: 94924

Lifetime total: $2,730.50


When I was 17 years old, my parents called us in for a family meeting. I was frustrated, because I was supposed to cheer on a friend at her softball game. Mom and Dad encouraged me to skip it. I didn't understand why and, like any typical teenager, felt my parents were being unreasonable. That feeling of frustration vanished moments later when they told us that Mom had breast cancer.

My mom has always been invincible in my eyes. Her Irish passion and fierce love for her family made her a very strong female role model growing up. When describing my mom, people always comment on her friendly personality and her Irish curls, which my older sister and I both inherited.

During the following year, I saw my mom undergo radiation and chemo, all the while raising four kids, including my 5 year old little sister. She still attended every play, choir concert and athletic event. While her spirit was almost always positive (she tried to shield us from the pain), anyone could see the devastation that the chemo was doing to her body. Her body was weak, and her beautiful curls were falling out. I'll never forget the day that my mom picked me up from my summer job after getting all her thinning hair cut off.

After a year of what must have been hell, my mom beat cancer, and today is 21 years cancer free. I feel immensely grateful.

11 years ago, I had what I thought was a winter cold, until one night a baseball-sized lump suddenly appeared on my neck. After a trip the ER and then a specialist, it was decided I would need surgery to remove half of my thyroid. At the post-op doctor's visit, I was told that the lump had traces of pappilary thyroid cancer and that I would need to have surgery the following week to remove the rest of my thyroid. Then, I would undergo radioactive iodine treatment. A year later, the annual scan showed more traces of cancer, so I underwent a neck disection to remove many of the lymphnodes on the right side of my neck. I was terrified, yet, somehow was able to beat it.

During this time, I was so grateful to my mom. Having witnessed her grace and determination through her own battle with cancer brought me much comfort.
I like to think that I inherited a little more than my Irish curls from Mom.

I am so proud to be a part of Pedal the Cause to honor my mom and all those battling cancer.