- Route: Ozarks
- Ride Year: 2024
- Hometown: Reading, MA
- School Year: Junior
- Major: Public Relations
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why I Ride
Cancer sucks. It really does. So, the question is: How can we help the long journey of cure(s) - for those we love? Cancer has affected my family and loved ones ever since I can remember, so I am fervently passionate about fighting it. Here’s why I’m riding to Alaska - to advocate for cancer prevention and cures.
In October 2018, having just turned 16, my parents told me my sister Katie was diagnosed with a diffuse midline Glioma (DMG) and an H3K27M gene mutation. The terminology sounded like gibberish to someone not an oncologist, but translating all this language was urgent, terrible, and scary. At the time, Katie was just 20 years old, in her junior year at the University of Maryland She was an incredible, caring, and passionate person that showed the world what it means to be kind. She was a leader on campus, heavily involved in service to others, and had a higher-level mature soul. However, her brain cancer diagnosis was far more profound than medical jargon - she had inoperable, terminal brain cancer with a 6-month life expectancy.
And so, her (& our) journey began. She was an absolute rockstar - a real fighter. She lived her life, cared for her loved ones, and showed love for all around her, even in the darkest of moments. She lived with cancer far longer than her original diagnosis through her strength and drive. I wish I could be half as strong as she was.
With cancer, she accomplished so much and helped so many people. She worked research in oncology labs at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical school. She spent as much time with her family and loved ones as she could. She graduated college two and a half years after diagnosis, two months before she passed. She even asked for donations to brain tumor research and Massachusetts General Hospital for her birthday. Perhaps her most significant contribution was volunteering for a Chemo trial to advance DMG cures, knowing it would help others in time as she fought terminal cancer.
We lost Katie to cancer on July 10th, 2021. I am riding for her and everyone who had the privilege of knowing Katie - and wants to help this fight.
While I mainly ride for my sister, I also ride for others affected by cancer. I ride for my Grandpa, Frank Bedingfield, my Grandpa Donald Coolican, my dog Gator, Gracie Bowen, Owen Magoon’s mom, Joe Merickle’s dad, John Bunge’s mom, Roshan Abraham’s brother, Blake Boren’s dad. Ethan Maloney’s mom, and Davis Evan’s aunt. I ride for those yet to be diagnosed - hoping we can all do our part.
To Alaska - LET’S GO! - please join me in funding the fight against cancer - to help our loved ones.