In June 2010 I will be participating in the Race Across the West, a 1400 kilometre non-stop bicycle race from Oceanside California to Durango Colorado. This adventure represents a giant step upward in terms of my expectations of myself. I am not an elite athlete; in fact there is nothing particularly special about me at all, except that I have made the decision to complete this race. And I like to take giant steps upward.
A short time ago I wrote that while racing in scores of long distance athletic events over the years, I had always wondered if I was ultimately working towards achieving something more than a finisher’s medal or a T-shirt at the end of the race. I have also written of winning the “lottery” of life, since I have been blessed since birth with appallingly good health.
My participation in Race Across the West will be dedicated to raising money and awareness for the Canadian myeloma community.
Multiple Myeloma is a life-threatening cancer of the plasma cells. Although it is relatively rare - affecting about 6,000 Canadians – it is the second most prevalent blood cancer, after non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Myeloma is without a cure so far. But this doesn’t mean that it can’t be treated, and I believe that that the people who are fighting it deserve to be given every advantage possible. Their best advantage begins with our awareness.
We have Myeloma Canada to thank for spreading the knowledge. This dynamic grass roots organization is much of the reason that so much attention has been paid recently, and why so much progress will certainly be made down the road. Others are joining in. This past summer cyclist Shane Saunderson rode from Calgary to Toronto to raise cash and awareness for the myeloma community, and he succeeded spectacularly in raising both.
Myeloma knows no class, social boundaries or lifestyles. The two cherished friends whom I have lost to this disease were strong, healthy, vital people. The remarkable Canadian actress and model Lisa Ray was diagnosed last summer and she is lending her voice. Visit her blog for an eloquent insight:
Please join me in spreading the word about the quest to tame multiple myeloma and ultimately to defeat it. By the time I finish the Race Across the West next June I want many more people to know about this disease and to support the fight against it.
I will be building a website shortly that will contain more information, and I will continue to post entries to this blog, so stay tuned!
“With time and patience, the mulberry leaf becomes satin”.