My Tour de Pink journey started out as being a ride marshall in 2013. I knew very little about the organization, and at the time, I wasn’t close to anybody that had fought cancer.
All of that changed, however, in 2017 when my wife Cindy was diagnosed with breast cancer. Cindy was recovering from surgeries in 2017, so she wasn’t able to ride in The Tour de Pink that year. She did, however, help me photograph the event, and she loved everything about that weekend. She knew instantly that she wanted to ride that following year.
In 2018 she got her chance to ride and she did awesome finishing all three days. She loved every minute of it, and it was incredible to watch her be so strong and determined throughout the whole weekend. She was so fit and happy and we met so many awesome people. It was such an accomplishment for her.
Unfortunately, a few months after TdP 2018, Cin got sick and we didn’t think much about it at the time. We were convinced it was just a cold. The coughing, however, wouldn’t go away and ended up getting progressively worse. We decided it was time we made an appointment with the doctor. I wish I could say the doctor told us it was just a cold, however, our worst fear emerged that day. The Dr. informed us that Cindy’s cancer had returned. Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer that metastasized in her lungs.
Cin wanted to do TdP one last time, so we started training for it, unfortunately, her body just was not responding. She still determined to try, so off we went the Thursday before the event. We had a doctor’s appointment on the way out and the news was absolutely devastating. We knew what the final outcome would be, but to hear that the cancer is getting worse was too hard to hear. Time was very short at this point, and we talked about not going. In the end, we did go and it ended up being the best place to be that weekend, after all, Tour de Pink was our family. That weekend we were surrounded by people going through the same thing we were going through and I think it was the best decision we made. Proud to say, Cin finished all three days with the help of everybody.
Cindy loved the organization for many reasons. It brought us comfort during a time that was so hard for us, as well as brought us friends and experiences we will never forget. This year I am going to honor Cindy by riding for her. She met so many great people through Tour de Pink and I’ll do everything I can to support them going forward. When the word came out that they would cancel the events this year, it worried many of us that Tour de Pink wouldn’t even survive. Gear it for the Girlz decided to do our own ride and continue to fundraise in order to keep this great organization going that has helped so many people in more ways than one. All in all, I am proud to be a part of something that meant so much to my wife and me, and I know by keeping this tradition alive, I am honoring her the best way I know how.