This year will be my second year captaining a team
for an amazing cause called Cycle for Survival, an indoor spinning
event that raises money and awareness for rare or "orphan" cancers.
So why do I ride? I'd like to say I ride for the workout and the
swag in the goody bags. But that is not the case.
Two and a half years ago, I was coasting my way through
life as a wife and mother of three. Charlie is 12, Izzy is 10 and
Louie is 7. I went for my usual mammogram and doctors
discovered that I had a rare tumor called a borderline phyllodes
tumor. What? These compose less than 1 percent of all breast
tumors, so there is not a lot of information out there. In
aggressive forms, phyllodes can spread and then there is simply no
Call it coincidence or call it fate-my husband Steve is an
oncologist. He had only seen one phyllodes in his practice. But
with him as a guide, we gathered what knowledge we could. My tumor
was removed and I am monitored closely. I'm healthy, but too many
times I heard things like, "We just don't know," or, "That's a shot
in the dark." That is just plain scary and unacceptable, and I want
to help prevent someone else from hearing those words.
Cycle provides a way to do that.
Once I found Cycle, I poured all the energy and heart I
could into it. I put together a team of my nearest and dearest
friends, who I knew would support me and this cause. My team is
called MTXE for "mental toughness extra effort." Seems to
Somewhere along the way I realized I have become a living
role model for my children. My passion for the cause was
contagious, and they caught it. Soon, on their own initiative, my
kids were having hot cocoa sales, bake sales, wearing the team
shirt to school, etc. They were even featured on the founder's
That is the greatest gift that has come out of this
experience. My children truly understand the meaning of making a
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