In Memory of A Friend Who Lost Her Life to Breast Cancer

This morning, I was a little later than usual in getting started on my morning routine.
Going through personal issues, financial problems, car trouble, relationship issues... wondering what it's all about... It's just been a rough week. The most distressing thing, though, was learning of a friend's passing last night, after a long, painful battle with cancer.
What's the point of it all? Why do we even bother? We struggle so hard for so little, only to have it all taken away. Why? I don't know; I don't have the answers. So I just sat there. I've been knocked down before, but this time, I really didn't want to get back up.
And then I did.
I got up for all the reasons I've gotten up before. I got up because it's a new day, with new challenges, and another chance to continue the fight. And I guess I just enjoy the fight too much. Besides, I'm kind of a sore loser. But, really, I got up because I was inspired by another's strength to keep fighting against the odds. I was inspired by a very powerful figure in my life who's gone now.
Sherry Buller was a very good friend of my mother -- they grew up together in Swissvale, PA -- so she knew me before I was born, in a way. She was kind and sweet, and so strong. A true inspiration. The last time I saw her was in April, just about 4 weeks ago. We had a nice chat; we talked about my father's passing in March, we talked about my transition, and we talked about life. She never once judged me, and had nothing but positive things to say, but I knew she was in pain. I knew how tired she was. I'm thankful that I had one last moment to spend with her before saying goodbye and never seeing her again.
I cherish every moment that I had to spend with her and her loving husband, Paul, and their daughter, Jenny, who is a talented coder working on some amazing things in Arlington, Virginia. They are strong, independent people who never stopped loving each other. Inspiring to the end. And that's how I felt, this morning, when I picked myself up and decided to try again. I felt inspired to do something on her behalf.
Cycling has been a life-saver, for me. Sometimes, I'll be climbing a steep incline, shifted into the lowest gear and just slogging along at a grueling pace. For a moment, I entertain the idea of giving up and turning around, or getting off the bike and walking. But I don't. No matter how much my legs burn, no matter how much my body begs me to stop, I just keep going.
I know that even a snail's pace is faster than not moving at all. I know it's not about speed but about endurance. It's about knowing you can get to the top, if you just stick with it. Ease up, take your time. Have patience. But don't stop. Don't ever stop. You may feel like you'll never reach the top, but if you stop moving, you never will. Just keep pedaling; just keep pedaling.
Cycling has taught me some important lessons about life, and about how much strength I really have. That's why I'm riding the 2015 ACS Endure PA in her honor. I've chosen the 62 mile course -- a metric century, in the parlance of riders. It's a long, long distance, but I'm confident I can do it. I have plenty of inspiration to get me there, and I'll be training for it at every chance I get.
Now here's where you come in: I want to raise at least $250 in Sherry Buller's name and donate it in her place, but I need your help to get there. If you feel inspired to give, please do. Follow the link below -- any amount will help. I have just under 90 days to collect the amount I've pledged to raise. Help me keep fighting. Help me to help others keep fighting.
You may not have met Sherry, but I hope you understand how much she meant to me and my family. Cancer sucks. It kills and will likely continue to kill. It killed my grandmother 30 years ago and still ravages the lives of people around us. With the advances we've made in technology, procedures and vaccines to prevent cancer, maybe we'll actually manage to stop it... but only if we keep fighting. Advances are slow, but still so much faster than doing nothing at all. Just keep fighting; just keep fighting. We'll get to the top of this hill, yet.
Please donate by clicking the link below:
In memory of Sherry Buller.


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