Does your company match your charitable donations? Goldman Sachs and AJ Gallagher do, and I have received a matching donation for each. If you need help knowing how to submit a request, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am putting the logo of companies making a matching gift on my "Appreciation Jersey" (see below). I am also displaying the logo of companies that make a donation directly in support of my riding. Thank you, Hot or Not Yoga (keeping limber), Kapler's Pharmacy (keeping healthy), Doane Family Enterprises (the McDonald's where I get my iced coffee each morning), and Bunnies By The Bay (who donated the profits of their online sales on a special giving day). They are also the company that makes "Puppy," Wesley's special "comfort" stuffed animal and the clone I rode with on each of my rides this year. Check them out. Their products are adorable.
I can't thank those that have donated enough. I was trying to think of a way to show my appreciation and wishing that some how there was a way for my supporters to ride with me. I got the idea of a creating a custom jersey that would be emblazoned my donor's names. I would wear the jersey on my rides in next years' GCC event to symbolically have the accompany me. I will be having the jersey made in a couple of weeks, which gives time for any late donors to be added. Also, if you have donated anonymously, and would like to have your name displayed, please email me so I can add you. (email@example.com).
Finding better treatments for pediatric cancer is an on-going endeavor. It is not a one-and-done activity, nor is my riding in the Great Cycle Challenge. About ten years ago, I met someone who has become a good friend and cycling mate. Sadly, I learned his daughter had died from a form of pediatric brain cancer. A couple of years later, I saw an advertisement for a new cycling event with the purpose of raising funds for pediatric cancer research. I immediately signed up and have ridden in the event every year since its inception. I continue to ride in GCC so that one day a parent, like my friend, will be told there is a treatment for their child's cancer. Each year, the GCC sends a jersey to riders that meet a fundraising minimum. Thanks to my supporters, I have earned a jersey each year. This picture reflects my ongoing commitment to this cause and the generosity of my supporters. Someday in the future, there will no longer be the need the Great Cycle Challange. Until that day comes, and for as long as I am able, I will coninue to ride. Kids should be living life, not fighting for it.
Christy Jones and Justin Jones, the parents of Wesley, invited me over for lunch. When I arrived, I was so SURPRISED to see this sign, my entire family and a friend who accompanied me on many of my GCC rides. This wonderful gesture helped me realize the appreciation families with children fighting cancer have for the Great Cycle Challenge riders and the individuals who donate to help fund the research to find better treatments. I wish I could put a similar sign in the yard of each of my supporters. THANK YOU for donating!
For kids undergoing chemotherapy, they rely on donations of blood, platelets and plasma, as the chemo wreaks havoc on their own blood supply. Here is what one mother of a 5-year had to say: “Emery would not be able to recover from chemotherapy without lifesaving transfusions,” says her mom, Morgan. “Every time they hang a bag of platelets or blood up on her IV pole, I wish whoever donated that could see who it’s going to. There would be no chance for her to live, taking that chemotherapy, if it weren’t for the blood products.”
Please consider donating. And, if you do, please let me know. (firstname.lastname@example.org) I would love to add your name to this list. My goal is for us to donate 40 units, This is the number of transfusions Wesley Jones has received while undergoing his own chemotherapy.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to play with Wesley and his siblings. It was great seeing him doing so well. In the video you will see he still is wearing his cancer hat (though his hair is coming back), is carrying his beloved "Puppy" (which is with him most of the time) and is sporting a Great Cycle Challenge jersey (which is now one of his favorite tops).
If you have been following my 2022 Great Cycle Challenge journey, you will know about "Puppy." Puppy is the "comfort" stuffed animal of Wesley Jones, the boy fighting cancer for whom I am riding this year. I carry a duplicate Puppy in my rear jersey pocket on each of my rides. I do so to symbolically support Wesley and all of the other kids struggling with pediatric cancer. Larry Mason, a fellow Pez collector, created two custom Pez dispensers with the likeness of Puppy on them. One to give to Wesley, and one for me to keep. It was such a wonderfully kind gesture. Larry also made the GCC dispenser you see in the picture. It will be a memorable addition to my Pez collection and forever a reminder of the many PezHeads that have supported my riding in the GCC event.
I had set a fundraising goal of $20,000 for September. Thanks to my generous supporters, WE reached it. I upped the goal to $22,000, and we reached it too. Donations are being accepted until the end of October. I won't be raising the goal, but let's see How High We Can Go! Last year's final total was $23,295.26.
Have you ever noticed a bike on the side of the road that is painted all white. This is a "Ghost Bike." It marks the spot where a cyclist was killed. The Ghost Bike in this picture is not along a road, but on the trail I ride quite frequently. It reminds me of the fragility of life, even the life of those of us pedaling for kids who are in a battle for their own.
Bunnies by the Bay, the company where Wesley's "Puppy" was purchased several years ago, and where I bought mine last month, is donating all profits from the online sales TODAY (9/28) to my GCC riding. Please check them out. They have adorable gifts for babies and young children. Here is the link to their blog post about Wesley and me. (You will need copy and paste it.)