This past weekend we participated in 24 hours of booty, a 24-hour cycling event to raise money for cancer. When I say participate I mean that I volunteered & cheered and Adam rode with some guys on a team called Hope for Sydney.
Adam with the team jersey on getting ready to start
Our friend, Sydney, was diagnosed in December with a significant brain tumor. This event was amazing. I remember one time going to a Race for the Cure race with my mom and seeing all the survivors of breast cancer...it's completely overwhelming. I realize that both my parents are cancer survivors, and for that I am so grateful. This event was similar...there are teams biking for loved ones who have lost their battle, who are in the fight, and who have won their battle against cancer. Cancer really does affect just about everyone.
Hope for Sydney Team
What made this experience even more incredible was doing it with Sydney.
me & Syd before our shift on Friday
We decided to volunteer together Friday & Saturday. Sydney said to me, "Everyone is here for a reason and I want to find out why they are here." Let me just say that Sydney is friendly and super bold. I realized my own inability to ask questions of strangers. Not Syd. She has no shame in asking, "so why are you here?" During our volunteer shift on Friday we met a handful of folks and got to hear their story (mainly b/c Sydney asked them why they were here). We met a man who lost his wife, Christine, to breast cancer in February. He shared his story so freely that I had this moment of awe that here the 3 of us were in the middle of "bootyville" as this guy shares what cancer did to his wife's body and spirit. It was heartbreaking. Then there was the teacher from Hickory who started "Team Jordan" for one of his students diagnosed in 2007 with Leukemia. This is just one of many races they ride in. Jordan is doing well and still under intense chemo. We later met his dad too. And there was Brian, a cancer survivor himself, who matched Sydney in spunk and energy. Later he took Sydney to meet his family and they totally embraced her. It was fun to cheer for him as he rode the Survivor's lap. These are just a few stories from the thousands that were there. Watching Sydney with other people is amazing. I wish I had the boldness she does. I wish I even had the desire she does.
Syd working hard! (notice the cool tat & free t-shirt)
Adam and Hope for Sydney did great too. They rode at different times throughout the 24 hours; some even through the night. They raised a bunch of money for cancer research. But ultimately they rallied around this amazing family, the Gaylords. It was so fun to see so many people come out to cheer on the cyclists and to love on Todd, Sydney & the girls. I love seeing our community in action. I imagine it's exactly what God desires for all of us.
Vail & Haven sporting their Hope for Sydney tees! so cute!
Next year you may see me and our little one on a bike. (it may be safer for her to ride with Adam) But I know I want to ride on Hope for Sydney team every year!!!