Here is the second part of Yuri Hauswald’s account of the 2015 Pablove Foundation’s fundraising ride from LA to SF that raised over $600,000 for pediatric cancer research and the Pablove Shutterbugs Program.
Jeff and JoAnn’s journey with cancer began when their son Pablo was diagnosed with bilateral Wilms Tumor, a rare form of childhood cancer. At that moment, their life changed in ways that they couldn’t even begin to comprehend. Six days after his sixth birthday, Pablo passed, and as Jeff remembers, “on that day more than any other, our amazing community wrapped its collective arms around us—and their love inspired us. In this exchange, The Pablove Foundation was born.”
Along with the love came a lot of pain, and to process it, Jeff turned to his bike. The first Pablove Across America ride in 2008 began in St. Augustine, FL and finished in Los Angeles, CA, and had no support. Jeff was joined by Rick Babington for the entire journey, while other friends flew out to join the ride for a day or two. In the final week of the ride, Jeff had a dozen friends from LA come out to help share the work load of riding. This year’s ride, with 37 riders and 16 support staff, was the biggest ever. The group raised over $600,000, which happens to be a new fundraising record for any Pablove Across America ride.
During any multi day ride, your life follows a pretty predictable pattern. The daily routine for my wife and me went something like this: 5:30 a.m. wake up; stuff our faces with food; pack our belongings and get our baggage to the truck; rider dedication at 7:45 a.m.; bikes rolling by 8:10 a.m.; ride…..all day; eat, shower, eat, sleep; repeat for seven days.
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.
This year’s route took us from the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles to China Beach in San Francisco, which is perched at the edge of the Golden Gate Bridge.
550 miles later, after lots of sweat, a bit of blood, and some tears, we rolled down to the beach toward a throng of cheering family and friends. Tender embraces all around and some more tears made this the most memorable finish of any ride I’ve ever done in my life. The celebration at the finish further reinforced Pablove’s mission of “fighting cancer with love, one pedal stroke at a time.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the Pablove Foundation, and their programs like Pablove Shutterbugs, click here. If you think you’d like to go on the ride of your life in 2016, pedal on over to here.