Hi! This is my mom, she is incredible and one of the best people I know. Three months ago, she was diagnosed with b-cell lymphoma (a blood-type cancer) after a large tumour was discovered between her bladder and kidney. The news was heartbreaking for our family, and we want to do everything we can to support her and journey alongside her as she undergoes chemotherapy treatment. She loves to ride her bike, and this inspired me to do something in a big way to support her, as well as hopefully inspire others going through cancer and other life-altering situations.
My mom's been a rock for me, our family and so many others throughout her life. Her smile, passion and enthusiasm for life, love for people and love for God are so evident to everyone she knows. My mom decided early on that she was going to choose to be hopeful and not let her circumstances change that. Shortly after being diagnosed, she led a retreat for women at King's Fold Retreat Center (a place of retreat and refuge in the Canadian Rockies) and the theme of the weekend was "Holding Hope". She encouraged everyone to choose a symbol in their life that represented hope. My mom choose the bicycle for her symbol of hope; that she will be able to ride her bike again, how awesome is that! This inspired me to help her get there in a big way.
I recently moved back from New Zealand to be with my mom and while I was there, I decided I wanted to do something to make a difference and support my mom and dad throughout this journey. My best friend Christy and I thought of the idea of doing a daunting challenge via bike as a way to inspire, raise support, and bring hope to those affected by cancer. Christy lost her cousin to cancer at the age of 19 and knows first-hand the reality of journeying alongside a loved one battling cancer. This September, we are planning to set off on the hardest physical challenge of our lives, in order to raise funds. We will be attempting to bike through the Alps from Mont Blanc near Chamonix (France) to the Matterhorn (Switzerland) and then finishing at the Aosta Valley (Italy). This will take us through some of the highest mountain passes in Europe and will undoubtedly be the most challenging bike ride we've ever done.
My parents used to work and volunteer at King's Fold Retreat Center and it holds a very special place in their hearts. In honour of my mom, we are hoping that we can raise a significant amount of funds for the center as it offers a place of refuge for so many facing challenges in life. For the past 18 years, they have hosted a week-long retreat several times throughout the year specifically for cancer patients (the Tapestry program).
We would love for you to partner with us in raising funds and be honoured to have your support for our journey. Any donation amount would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story, and hopefully it will inspire you to get outside, make the most of every moment, and give your mom (or loved ones) the biggest hug next time you see them! We continue holding hope that my mom will be a cancer survivor and will ride her bike to her heart's content soon :)
If you would like to find out more or donate to King's Fold Retreat Center directly, here is their website: http://www.kingsfoldretreat.com/