Cancer didn’t make me stronger; it sapped my strength like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.
You know what made me stronger? Having to make tough decisions and stand by them. Calling bullshit on bullshit. Moving forward despite the fear. Getting up every single day to be a mommy to my little girl, no matter how crappy I felt. Showing up for every treatment, even when I wanted to hide under the covers. Being a part of a support network for other young women with breast cancer.
We don’t get through this alone; we are all so interconnected. There is strength in numbers, in solidarity, in community. We take turns having bad days, and on our better days we lend our strength to others. There is strength in knowing I am not alone. Others have traveled the road before me, and my experience will provide strength to those who come behind me.
There is strength in helping others, in standing up and fighting for a cause. There is strength in giving back, and paying it forward. There is strength in understanding, and being understood. And there is a great deal of strength in our collective knowledge of how to survive and thrive despite this nasty and devastating disease.
This is why I am so passionately supportive of my support network for young women with breast cancer, the Young Survival Coalition.
A week ago, YSC Seattle held it’s annual fundraising event. Instead of the usual party and auction, this year we held an athletic event. Tour de Pink indoor was our first cycling fundraiser, and it had a completely different kind of energy than the party. We packed the room with spin cycles, great music, and awesome people. Perhaps it wasn’t the same fun as partying, but there was collective energy of focus and determination that was quite different from what happens on the dance floor.
Energy builds on energy, focus encourages focus, and it’s hard to give up in a room packed with that much determination.
We raised $11,000.
Up next is a bigger, outdoor ride. Tour de Pink West Coast is a 200 mile ride from Thousand Oaks to Foothill Ranch, CA, to benefit YSC across the nation, and it’s less than two weeks away. I won’t be riding along, but I will be with them in spirit, you can, too.