Why I’m biking across Iowa (again)

As I count down the days to chemo ending, then radiation ending, I am long looking into my bright future filled with fun adventures, love and laughs. Why not celebrate treatment’s end by biking across Iowa? It’s the first thing most people think to do, right? haha

Feeling accomplished! At the Mississippi River at RAGBRAI

I decided to again join LIVESTRONG to bike across Iowa during RAGBRAI in July. This will be my third year biking with LIVESTRONG at the Register’s Great Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa, a 7-day, 400+ mile from the Missouri to Mississippi Rivers (the route changes each year). Since I’m attacking and clearing my third cancer diagnosis, it seemed fitting to tie them together. What better way to remind myself that I am always stronger, happier and more determined than this disease.

Why do I want to ride across Iowa again? (read about last year’s journey here and my post of favorite things from RAGBRAI.) I love raising awareness of all that LIVESTRONG offers to people affected by cancer. And since their programs are cost-free, raising funds to support these is important too. While the cancer experience can sometimes feel lonely, there is a huge community of support available to people.

As a 3-time cancer survivor, I also find this to be an empowering and inspiring journey. Training and participating in RAGBRAI help build my confidence and trust in my body and remind me of how much I’ve overcome since my first diagnosis. The members of Team LIVESTRONG have become friends, many I adore like family. These are people who ‘get it’ when I talk about being cancer survivor, losing a family member to cancer and wanting to fight this disease. Being part of Team LIVESTRONG is a great reminder of that community, and nothing shows it off more than biking, camping, eating and enjoying life with people who also are committed to fighting cancer.

There’s a lot of corn in Iowa.

I honestly have no clue how many miles I will be able to bike and I have no goal this year. My body has been through a lot and we still have some obstacles to overcome before treatment is completely done. Chemo has kicked my butt down from working out as usual, my miles on the bike trainer are minimal and I can’t wear a bike helmet until July due to cold cap therapy guidelines for post-chemo hair care (read how I’m trying to save my hair from falling out during chemo). All of these things may make you wonder why I’m still committed to this….

Well, I’m clearing my third cancer diagnosis and choosing to live as fully a I can. I’m fortunate for that opportunity, which is why I’m helping raise funds for LIVESTRONG’s programs and services benefitting millions of others facing this disease. LIVESTRONG provides amazingly helpful programs for people affected by cancer, including navigation services (from any stage of diagnosis), school education, fertility assistance, caregiver resources, YMCA programs, advocacy initiatives and more.

Truth is, I’m going to do the best I can to prepare. The best is all we can do, right? I’m excited to have a goal that I hopefully can accomplish and excited to help others by raising awareness of and funds for LIVESTRONG’s cancer support programs.

If you’re interested in supporting my journey to help others facing this disease, click here to donate. Any amount is appreciated and makes an impact. As a special thank you, every $10 donation increment earns a ticket into a raffle for a fun Michigan-themed goodie bag.

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