The guy walking across the parking lot is famous. That's easy to tell from the reactions. Crowds part for him. He's not a big man, but he's got a big aura. Fans climb the stadium wall, cheek to cheek, pressed against openings to catch a glimpse. He waves his bat at the kids on the wall. The kids scream with joy. Who is that? Some say a modern day legend, a hero – Not in my book.. I do not know where to begin. I thought initially it was about the ride; the “wow” factor. Riding across the United States on a bicycle, who does that? But the experience I didn’t really foresee going into the ride is the greater will of others. I did not find it while riding; I found it in the hospitals we visited. The kids, their families, the nurses, and the caregivers showed me that their desire and hope to succeed and fight back at the terrible diseases that have taken over the children is much rawer and much more centered on the realities of humanity. I found the will in Hannah, in Columbus, whose light in her eyes shows so much more life than I see in my own. Or Hayden, in Kansas City, whose family is excited to be going home for the first time in 60 days, even if only have to return in just a few days to continue on with his fight. The exhaustion from the battle is worn on their faces, but the will Hayden and Hannah displays is so strong that they move forward with obvious determination. These are the heroes – extraordinary feats of bravery, compassion and the willingness to thrive. And my personal hero - Madison. I met her 4 years ago, she is incredible. Madison - is age eight and was diagnosed with Leukemia and conquered chemotherapy. Madison had asked me to ride for her and make you all aware of her willingness to fight this awful disease. I will have Madison's picture with me throughout the ride and will be happy to share her story in winning her fight. She is why I started to ride…now I ride to tell all their stories. None of us are as strong as all of us.
I am proud to sponsor Madison Wallers; can you help me in her fight? Also: Kenji, William Kopper, Joel Nicklaus and in memory of Sammi.
“Go the Distance 2012” is set for June 24 - July 3, 2012. This time riding from San Francisco, CA to Boston, MA, in 10 days, Team Will plans to cross 14 states, visit 18 hospitals and participate in 7 community rallies with a goal of raising $125,000 for family support services and childhood cancer research. For more information, please visit: www.team-will.org