Riding for a Cure

Dear Family, Friends, and Co-workers,

CANCER… In this day and age, it’s a word that has some connection to almost everyone.  Perhaps a family member, a friend, or co-worker of yours has been diagnosed with cancer and waged war on this horrible disease.

As some of you may have already heard, I will be cycling a century (100 miles) this June as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program.  I have committed to raising at least $4,250, of which 76.2% goes directly towards research, patient & community service, public health education, and professional education – programs that make a difference in the lives of those fighting cancer.

My commitment involves fundraising, cycling on my own almost every day, and team spinning and rides on the weekends.  Most of these commitments I can handle on my own, but the fundraising involves you!  I have just over four months (18 weeks) to prepare myself and raise these funds.  Can you spare $5/week? $10/month? $25 just to get me off your back?  $100 because your life has been forever changed, in some way, by cancer?  Even more?  Every donation helps! You can support my efforts online at:

http://pages.teamintraining.org/ri/ambbr11/mdieterich

There are two major reasons why I’m taking on this challenge:

The first is a promise I made almost seven years ago to Tom Heft, my boss and friend.  Two days after Tom’s 40th birthday, he learned of his cancer, which was later diagnosed as stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  Tom fought the disease for almost two full years, spending much of that time sick as a dog, before ultimately passing away in March 2004.  I visited Tom multiple times when he was in hospice and it was during one of these visits where I confessed that I desperately wanted to do something to help him, but what could I do?  At some point in the conversation the topic of Team in Training came up and I left that day having made a promise to Tom that I would ride in his honor.  I had every intention of fulfilling this promise immediately, but my life distracted me.  Yet this promise has been nagging me for many years and, well, this is the year!

My second reason is my sister Amanda.  She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the ripe age of 17 on May 16th, 1997. This day will forever be etched in my memory.  The disease itself and the treatment have left her with lasting scars and a multitude of side affects that impact her daily life.  Even though she has been cancer free for 13 years, in the back of my mind there is this nagging fear that some day I will get that dreaded phone call, telling me the cancer has returned.  I ride, so that some day there can be a cure, and no one need live in fear of receiving such a call.

I hope you can help,

Mark

1 comment

    • Trina Avery on January 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Mark — good for you for doing this! Tom and I are happy to pledge $50, and I hope many, many others will do that and more —

    Trina

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