Most people know someone who is battling cancer or lost a friend or family member to this disease. It is a disease that strikes people of all ages, from young children to aging adults. Modern medicine has made great strides in the fight against this disease, but there is a long way to go.
I now have a personal reason to join the fight to find a cure. In January 2017, my daughter, Melissa, was diagnosed with Adult T-Cell lymphoma otherwise known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia or ALL for short. It is a rare and highly aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We were recently told that after several types of chemotherapy medications, immunotherapy, and a stem cell transplant that her cancer has grown resistant to medications and she was given just weeks to 2 months to live. As a father I am helpless to save my daughter. I have grieved, been angry, prayed so much I don’t know what to pray for anymore, and now accepted the reality that she will leave us all too soon.
To help me cope with this family tragedy the only thing I know to do is to join the fight to find a cure for her type of cancer. I started this campaign to raise $25,000 to help find a cure and honor my daughter’s life and raise awareness and research funding for Adult T-cell ALL. I am asking for donations from those willing to help find a cure by making direct donations or pledging and donating an amount per mile for the 350 miles I will ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina later this summer. Two years ago I bicycled 120 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway ending at Roanoke, VA. I promised my daughter I would complete the entire length of the parkway as a way to honor her life.
I started this campaign to help find a cure, honor Melissa’s life, and raise awareness and research funding for Adult T-cell ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. There are two ways to make a donation:
- Make a tax deductible donation on behalf of Melissa to the following website to fund further research: https://www.crowdrise.com/ride-for-melissa/fundraiser/.
- Another way is to pledge an amount per mile as I bicycle 350 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway later this summer. I will post daily reports to verify my progress. I am asking anyone wanting to pledge an amount per mile to make a donation to the website shown above after I complete the ride. People who wish to donate this way would have to commit an amount per mile (on the honor system because we don’t have a way to include pledges on the fundraiser website). For example:
Pledging $.10 per mile = donation of $35
Pledging $.25 per mile = donation of $87.50
Pledging $.50 per mile = donation of $175.00
If you want to let me know your pledge feel free to send me an e-mail at: email@example.com.
She has been an inspiration to us all as she battles this disease. Her courage, strength, and faith has helped us all deal with this terrible situation in a way I never would have thought possible. She is at peace with the outcome and that somehow makes is easier for us to face the inevitable. I hope through this campaign that someday a cure will be readily available.
My journey on the parkway will not begin until her journey has come to an end.