Why I ride: Brian Wilson

Norton Healthcare employee Brian Wilson on why he rides in Bike to Beat Cancer

Norton Healthcare chaplain Brian Wilson, Rev. Brian K. Wilson, Sr., MDiv., BC, hopes for the day when the diagnosis of cancer no longer contains the sting and ache it now does. He is encouraged by the stories of those who have survived the battle with cancer as well as those who are gaining strength in the fight. His mother, Alberta, died of lung cancer when Brian was only 18, and her legacy reverberates through his life and work.

A mere two years after her diagnosis, Alberta passed away at the age of 51.

“My mother loved her family and did not want to leave us,” Brian said. “I’m sure much of her fight had to do with being there for us as long as she could. She had a sense of peace at the end of her life because of the love and support of her family and friends, as well as the peace her faith provided.”

Brian has children of his own now, and he finds himself telling his mother’s stories, using some of her favorite sayings, and remembering her love and guidance.

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“She always said to give her flowers while she can smell them and that taught me the profound lesson of what it means to show love and care to people in the present moment. Expressions, actions and sentiments or love and care are to be shared, experienced and known now and not deferred to a distant time,” Brian said.

He acknowledges the role the community plays in helping support people with cancer.

“Each of the stories of victory I have heard have been so because others have joined them in the fight for their life and well-being by surrounding them with the various types of support needed. Realizing so many have not received the help they needed prior to or after the diagnosis of cancer saddens me, and I hope no one has to ever worry about whether or not they will have the resources they need,” Brian said.

He also thinks about his mom and her wisdom.

“I certainly wish she was here today,” Brian said. “We’ve all been impacted by cancer in some way either by a relative, friend or even personally.”

According to Brian, Alberta often said, “Help others when you can and always be thankful for what you have.”

That’s why Brian signed up to ride in Bike to Beat Cancer — because this is a way to help others and be thankful for what he has.

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