Picking up the pieces after loss and riding again for a cause: Bike to Beat Cancer rider shares his story
I started bicycle riding several years ago as a way to get back into shape and soon realized I loved to ride. A few years later I met the woman of my dreams, and she started riding with me.
We were married. Life was good. I had never liked doing organized rides mainly because I felt weird asking people to donate money, even when it’s for a good cause. My amazing wife, Laura, had been big into fundraising and helping with cancer awareness. She had lost her mother to lung cancer.
Laura was the one that came up with the idea of putting a team together to raise money to help fight cancer. Shortly after we put a team together, we found out she had breast cancer. Laura was not able to ride in our first Bike to Beat Cancer due to her treatments.
Laura made sure to help raise money and get the word out about the wonderful work Norton Cancer Institute was doing. She was at the start and finish lines cheering on every rider.
At last year’s ride, she even brought her bike and rode out to meet the members of our team and cross the finish line with each one of them. Laura lost her battle with cancer on Dec. 16, 2015.
After losing my amazing wife, I also lost my love for riding. I surely wanted nothing to do with cancer or the Bike to Beat Cancer. That was until Laura’s 18-year-old daughter Lauryn came to me and asked if the two of us could start training and ride as the “Pink Warriors, Team Laura” in this year’s Bike to Beat Cancer.
We are riding to honor the strongest and most amazing woman I have ever known. And we plan to do so for many years to come.
I Love you, Laura Thompson, the Pink Warrior!
Do you have a reason to ride? Even if you have not personally been affected by cancer, chances are you know someone who has. The Bike to Beat Cancer is a fundraising event for Norton Cancer Institute. 100 percent of proceeds stay in our community to help cure cancer and eliminate suffering.
Register to ride or find out other ways you can make a difference in our community at BikeToBeatCancer.org.