I lost my dad to lung cancer in 2017. By the time he was diagnosed, it was already at stage 4. 2 months later, he was gone.
There were no signs. He had never smoked a day in his life. Those two months, my sisters, brother, brother in laws and I rallied to manage not just the diagnosis and oncologist visits but managing mom and dad (they've been married for 51 years) to keep them positive even when you are torn in pieces inside. What to tell them, what not to, how do I stay strong while scrambling to get my hands on all the latest advancements. I reached out to my friends at Fred Hutch, my friends and anyone that went to medical school.
From that moment to receiving that call with diagnosis to the call I had to make to the hospice nurse, it is all a blur.
Encountering the "Chalk Wall" at Obliteride was the moment it all became real. I asked a lot of hard questions staring at the wall.
Last year, I signed up for 25-mile ride when I didn't know how to ride a bike. It was crazy. And exciting and scary. Definitely crazy. But what good is our life without these, right?
I met incredibe people last year - Steve Bunin from King5 who patiently listened to my story and wrote a beautiful piece that was shown on TV honoring my dad in a way that I will never forget, to my friend Kristine who not only taught me how to ride a bike but she volunteered with a big Team Smeeta poster, and how can I ever repay Shannon - a serendipudous meeting turned into the kind of connection most people only wish for - she rode with me the entire time, stopping at SCCA where she went for her radiology appointment, we stopped and cried on each others' shoulders... and my family and friends who were beeeeeeyond generous and helped raise over $4K to crush cancer.
(It is starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech, no? :))
Please join me in this effort to put cancer in its place, behind us.
Ride or walk, donate, and tell others about Obliteride.
Here is the link to King5 story: https://www.king5.com/video/news/local/woman-learns-to-bike-to-honor-dad-lost-to-cancer-at-obliteride/281-8216329
And here is the link to the story Laura Anderson from Fred Hutch published (it is on their website - I am famous, people! :))