In less than two weeks, a cycling team comprised of Hornall Anderson employees will join other teams and individuals from the Seattle area to ride in the inaugural Obliteride event. Scheduled for August 9-11th, this organized bike ride ranging from 25 to 180 miles was created by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to give people in the Pacific Northwest a way to get involved in helping to accelerate “out of the box” solutions to finding a cure. Our agency is not just supporting through fundraising, we also partnered with Fred Hutch to create the Obliteride campaign.
So, why do we ride? The responses are often the same:
To end cancer.
To show support.
To raise money.
But for each of us, there’s a more personal reason. So, we asked our team to share their individual stories with us.
This is why WE ride...
To be part of the HA team and to be involved in something that matters. I have lost family and friends to cancer and feel fortunate that I have been given the opportunity to help fund the research that will ultimately lead to a cure and also improve cancer treatments. Simply put, I'm riding 100 miles because I can.
…can make a difference. My father had testicular cancer when he was 45; my best friend had melanoma when she was 27; my husband’s best friend had eye cancer as a baby. We are constantly looking for ways to support cancer research. To make a difference. To support people we care about.
…about finding one small way to help. 27 years ago I lost my father to cancer. He was just 42 years old. Today people are surviving and living their lives with the same cancer that took only 6 months to claim my father’s life. Cure are happening and soon they could be the norm for many cancers. So I’m also riding for my father-in-law, the best granddad my sons could ask for!
For me, service is a part of my heart and soul, my purpose in life. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.”
It’s simple, I’m riding because I’m tired. Tired of learning that yet another person I love has been touched by cancer. Tired of feeling powerless as I watch them fight their battle. And most of all, tired of saying goodbye. I’m riding 180 miles, because as tired as I’ll be by the end, I’m fueled by knowing that I can be a part of making a difference. It’s a way to channel…
…channel my hatred towards cancer into positive energy for a cure. Cancer has struck my family and friends at a magnitude I could have never imagined. I am riding for my parents- my dad who is fighting Melanoma in his remaining months of life and for my mom, who changed the Ovarian cancer survival statistics. I am riding for my Uncles and Aunt and father-in-law who have lost the battle. I am riding for my friends who are fighting and my friends who have lost their parents. And, I am riding for a better future- for me, for my boys and for you.
You ask why I’m riding? Because Pediatric cancer wards need to be shut down forever. That’s why I’m riding.
…riding for two of my dearest life-long friends who both lost their dads this year to cancer. Beyond that I’m also riding for myself and the opportunity to be a part of something fun, something that inspires me to get in better shape and makes a real difference in our world. The jersey also kicks ass, so…I’m riding for that too.
Too many people have been lost to cancer. In my twenties I lost my mother, Sharli Powers Land. Her death left a hole in my life. I wish she could have met her grandchildren, traveled to Seattle to see this amazing slice of the country, shared in our lives as adults.
She is with me every day.
Twenty years later I sat by the bed side of one of my best friends as she fought for her life. I held my best friend's hand as she passed away. There are no words that can describe the anger and sadness I felt. It is not just family we look forward to growing old with.
Three years ago I gave up smoking. I stopped driving to work, and began to commute by bike. For the last three years I have been riding year round through rain, wind and glorious sunshine. I ride for me, I ride for my family and I ride for my community. Now I get to ride to help a larger family.
We all have our personal stories of loss; I want to help more of these stories be stories of survival.