A New Ride

FACEBOOK, USA — A new ride began with my fight against cancer. While I continue to battle on a personal level, it is much more than personal. It is the global fight we must win. We beat Polio and Smallpox; most readers probably don’t remember those. And we can beat cancer.

My fund raising goal is $20,000. I must say that riding the bike 100 miles or 7.6 miles up Mount Washington is easier than this goal. But I will stay the course.

Tonight, with the guidance of Ben Jones, we deployed a fan page, Ride Against Cancer. We had to get 25 fans to get a vanity address and got that in less than half an hour. By bedtime, we had 100 fans.

But, much like my failed ad campaign in which my ad was displayed 190,000 times and we received $0 in donations, people jumped at the chance to become a fan but it led to $0 donations. Well, maybe $25. Not sure if the one person who donated did because she was harassed otherwise or because of the page. The test will be when a complete stranger becomes a fan and donates.

The Fan page on Facebook is important for connections. The 190,000 times the ad was displayed it went to people, over 30, who had keywords of bike, bicycle, cycling, Lance Armstrong, It’s Not About the Bike, Cancer Sucks, Tour de France, or Prostate Cancer Foundation. I deemed those people most like to be interested in my ad to give money to Livestrong.

It was displayed 190,000 and received 50 clicks, all of which I paid for, and not a single donation. Grrr.

The next ad campaign will reach friends and friends of friends and fans of my new page. When the ad is displayed it will also show that “Beth is a fan” or “3 friends are fans.” At least with this ad there is a personal connection.

This new approach may not gain any donations either but it is worth a try. We have to do something to beat cancer.

Cancer — you picked on the wrong person.

The Long Road Back

BURKE, VIRGINIA
 

It has been a long time since I have really been on a bike. About four weeks after cancer surgery I tried the bike but went one block and had to abandon. The sutures were in the lower abdomen and caused tremendous pain when I was bent over. But one week later I tried it again and went about half a mile.

As I began the long road back I soon realized that biking was one activity that I could do. The sitting was excellent for me and the positioning was comfortable. So I set off to ride on Friday December 19. It was cold — 28 degrees, and I only went 8 miles but it felt good. But it was cold. I forgot how to dress for cold weather riding.

The next day we were buried under 18″ of snow and all outdoor riding was grounded for a while. Conflicts and weather kept me from riding until today.

In a way it was nothing to brag about but today’s ride was out of the South Run Rec Center along the Fairfax County Parkway down to Occoquan. Total distance was 27.2 miles. The group was supposed to be at a C pace and was.

Still, save for the one 8-mile jaunt, I have done no riding since November 8. So I settled in just determined to make the distance.

It soon became apparent that I would move to the front and be a leader. And it really became obvious when we left Occoquan. The hill up Rte 123 is probably 8% grade for about half a mile. Maybe longer.

As the group started up the hill I put in a high cadence and flew up the hill. I left the entire group struggling behind. I’m not a great climber — just determined — but one must figure if you can be in the middle of the pack at Mount Washington that you can climb okay. Plus, I was probably the youngest in the group.

But the more I rode the stronger I felt. Eventually I was off the front by myself. And it felt good. The 27 miles are a start on the long road back.

LIVESTRONG-Philly 2010

I was sick in May, 2009. It took a while to determine that the underlying cause was an E.coli infection. But the testing uncovered something else. I had cancer.

As the summer dragged on and I researched my treatment options, my doctor encouraged me to keep my cycling goals. And so I did.


Last year the Challenges were just more worthy charity rides. I had decided it would be neat to do the LIVESTRONG Challenge because, well, it’s Lance Armstrong. Or at least his name. He’s busy riding professionally and cannot normally attend these events.

But when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer I decided that I had to participate. These 100 miles just got personal.

I was faced with my first fund raising challenge. I paid my $50 entry fee then had to raise $250. I was very nervous committing to such a huge goal. How could I raise so much?

But after giving it more thought I said I could. And I said I would do 10 times that amount because the only way we are going to overcome this hideous disease is if we all do more than the minimum we are asked.

I made my goal of $2,500. And I was pleasantly surprised when $3,200 was donated in my name!

I went to King of Prussia, Pa. (Philly) and rode the 100 miles. The first 99 were easy. The last one was hard. As I steered into the “survivor’s chute” I realized that for most riders this day marked the end. They had stared down cancer and won. But for me, the last mile represented not the end of a journey, but I knew the road ahead for me was just the beginning.


It’s been seven months since I was diagnosed with cancer. When I found out, I was scared for my family and myself. And I’ve never been more scared than when I was facing surgery in November.
As I underwent the surgery, am experiencing the longer-than-expected recovery, and the emotional ups and downs, I became ever more determined to beat the disease. I will not let cancer take away my health, my hope, or my life.
I’m back and I’m pissed. Cancer, you’ve picked on the wrong person. I’m not going down without a fight.

My goal is to raise $20,000. Twenty thousand dollars. That’s not a typo.

More than 28 million people are living with cancer worldwide which is why it’s time to pick a fight! With the help of LIVESTRONG, and their fundraising event the LIVESTRONG Challenge, I’m uniting with others who are determined to make cancer a global priority.
I have gone face to face with my demon and he’s a LOSER

Please help honor my own personal battle with cancer, as well as the millions of others whom this disease affects, as I ride 100 miles in the 2010 LIVESTRONG Challenge – Philly on August 22. My financial goal is high but I know I can do this with the support of friends like you.
Donate or I’ll cry
A Yellow Rose and the Realization of the Long Road Ahead
Please consider making a donation. Your $100 or $50 or $25 tax deductible contribution will be one more vital weapon in this fight and would go a long way to help meet the needs of millions of cancer survivors. Or better yet — join me in Philly. We can be a cancer fighting team!

Barry SherryWoodbridge, Va.

Click Here to Donate (Removed….)

For everyone who donates in honor or memory of someone I will carry and display their name with me as I ride.

Why $20,000?

A few days ago I was on a forum called Healing Well. A gentleman from Japan posed the question “how much did your surgery cost?” as he was thinking about coming to the U.S. for treatment knowing full well his Japanese insurance would not cover and it would be out of pocket. A number of folks answered as did I:

Hospital – 2 days at Johns Hopkins — $10,706
Surgeon — $9,296
Anesthesia — $1,710
Diagnostic — $968
Total — $22,680

Okay, it was $22,000 but $20,000 is such a nice number. The least I could do is to raise the same amount of money to fight cancer before it develops than after it has taken root.
Second, and this is near and dear to my heart, $20,000 is the amount at which one qualifies for a private ride with Lance Armstrong at the Ride for the Roses weekend in Austin, Texas, in October.
I raised $3,000 last year with nothing to show for it except knowing that every dollar helps defeat cancer. And I was very reluctant to put this out there knowing some people will question my motive. And yet I question their motives. Why? Because some weren’t so willing to donate to fight cancer until I mentioned a ride with Lance. “Why didn’t you say that?,” they asked. Then they willingly gave.

I’ve always been a cycling fan and a Lance fan. And while $20,000 is my gift to LIVESTRONG, no strings attached, I am also hopeful that I can qualify for this once-in-a-lifetime ride. It sure beats the ride I am on ride now.