“Dear Friends and Family,
Happy holiday season! I hope this letter finds you well and content as we wind down 2011.
I have had a very eventful, blessed year and have much gratitude for all the wonderful things I have had the chance to experience. With this in mind, I have decided to ride insanely long distances on my bike to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in support of much needed cancer research.
CANCER is a horrible word. When you hear that word associated with a loved one it is devastating and unfortunately so many people hear that word everyday. Every 4 minutes a child or adult is told they have leukemia or another blood related cancer. Every 10 minutes another person loses their life to a blood cancer.
One of the individuals I am dedicating my century ride to is George George, Niko’s Papou (Greek for Grandpa), who was diagnosed with multiple-myeloma, in 1977. Unfortunately, he lost his battle with the disease and passed away within 10 months of being diagnosed. In the 70’s, being diagnosed with a blood cancer was almost always fatal. Since his passing, with the help of innovative research funded by LLS, survival rates have doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled for blood cancers patients.
Along with riding in memory of Niko’s Popou, I am riding for a fellow participant, Dave Gent, who has Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He is in remission currently which is thrilling, but his disease is incurable. He has been battling the disease since 2003, and has undergone both lymph node and bone marrow biopsies, numerous radiology scans and blood tests, and 14+ treatments of chemotherapy and two years of ongoing therapy. Dave’s good health today is due in large part to a drug called Rituxan. Rituxan is a newer class of drug that works by targeting the cancer cells specifically, leaving healthy cells nearly untouched. This approach is much more effective in killing cancer while enabling patients and survivors to have a much higher quality of life. What’s also amazing about Rituxan is that it was funded by Team in Training and LLS. Dave is living proof that your donation matters.
The ride I am training for is a 100-mile bike ride through Solvang wine country. I will be training weekly starting November 12th until my event date in March 2012.
With your help, I am trying to raise $5,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and to make a difference in the lives of so many affected by blood cancers. You can click on this link: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sf/solvang12/jgeorge9fp and donate
With much love and gratitude,
Jessie at nikoco dot com”