When you pedal with a purpose and with other passionate/compassionate people, most of whom have been touched by cancer in some way, the miles just melt away. Every time you think about how hard it is, how much your body hurts, you remind yourself who you are riding for that day, and what they’ve suffered in such a short time on this earth. The cancer camaraderie and physicality of shared miles as a group, as a peloton, brings people together, which is a big part of why I joined Pablove Across America again this year, but as a ride leader. Being part of this cycling band of brothers and sisters for a week was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Riding with the different groups gave me the opportunity to learn people’s stories, to know them on a deeper level, to help them push physical boundaries on the bike, and to turn something as horrible as being part of the cancer community into something positive. We became a pedaling family that encouraged, cajoled, prodded, and pushed one another to finish each day.
Speaking of finish lines, when we arrived in Malibu, we were greeted by a wall of cheering family and friends. At the closing ceremony, a $250,000 grant was awarded to Dr. Muller Fabbri, a third-year grant recipient, so he could continue his cutting-edge research into finding a cure for Neuroblastoma. And yes, while we all wished that we didn’t have to be here, we were proud that our sweat equity had a tangible outcome. Our pedal strokes were making a difference in the fight against childhood cancer(s) and allowing children to lead a love filled life today and a cancer free life tomorrow.