The weather is getting cooler. Still really hot, but not scorching. Here are some pictures:
Today I rode for Kara Lobasso. I went to high school with her and remember her fighting cancer at the time. Here is her story:
I was diagnosed with Leukemia when I was 14. My last semester of 9th grade I had various symptoms of leukemia that were undiagnosed. By the time I was diagnosed in the ER I was critically ill. The next three weeks I spent in the ICU in a medically induced coma. My body was so diseased with cancer it was shutting down. I had a respirator to breath, blood transfusions, kidney dialysis, and numerous other procedures to keep me alive. The doctors had warned my parents that my chances of survival were not good. The doctors found out I needed a Bone Marrow Transplant due to the type of Leukemia I had. The doctors found a cord blood donor that was a match to me. In December 2008 I had received the transplant and was waiting to ensure it worked. Once you have had your chemo, transplant or whatever treatment you need to kill the cancer, the journey is not over. I still live with the after affects of cancer. My family, friends and community were very supportive. They held blood drives, fundraisers, and were there for me. My family and I also had support from nonprofit groups. Thanks to everyone’s support, it eased the financially and emotional burden. Now six years later I am still cancer free.
Her story hits close to home on the 4k because we support young adults fighting cancer and we are also partnered with the National Bone Marrow Registry, and one of our service events is to get people to sign up to be bone marrow doners!
This morning started out really well with a complimentary breakfast at our hotel, Comfort Suites. We then left Blythe and set out on a 90 mile ride to Brawley, CA. Here is the GPS route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/555679991. The ride was ugly and not at all what you think when someone mentions California! There were bugs everywhere, and hay bales, and the smell of cow poop. It was overcast though, so that cooled down the weather and blocked the sun. Our ride groups were based on year of birth, and I rode with the 1993’s! That included Brad, Brianne, Heather, Aaron, and Taylor.
This is all of us minus Taylor because she was riding in front of me. We rode on and on, until we had a long gradual climb. Then we got go to all downhill until we were below sea level! We rode past border patrol, barbed wire fences, and two fighter jets were flying around all day. We’re so close to the Mexican border! The roads today were well paved, but rough and it hurt all of our butts for 8 hours straight. Plus, for a couple of miles, the wind was whipping sand around as we were riding through the dunes:
We finally got to our host in Brawley, CA. We’re staying at the home of a couple who are friends of the 4k program and hosted the San Diego team last year! They couldn’t be nicer and even have a really cute and playful kitten named Pita!
Being the two biggest cat lovers, Allison and I played with him for a long time with only a piece of string I use to hang my hammock. We all had two showers to share, and due to the most hilarious toilet clogging incident that took 2 hours to resolve and clean up without our hosts knowing our showers were delayed so we got to play with Pita for even longer! After that, I was bored with the rest of the team, so I decided to sign up for snapchat. I caved in! But it’s pretty fun I guess.
Even though we could ride from here to San Diego in two days, we have 7 left, so tomorrow we head out of our way to Palm Springs, CA! The weather should get MUCH cooler after that and we’ll eventually hit the coast! Our ride tomorrow is 92 miles, and it is our last ride over 80 miles! (which is where I draw the line for a long day) Only short days after this!
One last note. Some of you have been reading my blog for a while, and by now you MUST have realized how amazing the 4k program is and the cause we support. So many of you have donated and mailed to us tubes, food, and anything else we may need, but now that the ride is coming to an end, we won’t have any more mail drops. I can tell that many of you have a donation addiction and this must be a real damper on your day. But wait! Remember, you can still satisfy your donation habits by donating directly to the 4k program! We are almost done with our ride and have everything we need to get us there. On the other hand, many young adults are just starting their fight, and will need a lot of support to get them through to the end. All of our fundraising pages are still open (this is mine: http://www.4kforcancer.org/profiles/tyler-stocksdale), and a lot of us are really close to fundraising milestones! Personally, I’m only $140 away from raising $6000! Six. Thousand. I never even thought I was capable of that. But then again, this is the 4k and you learn something new about yourself every day!