I completed the Ride to Conquer Cancer for the first time in 2013. I wanted to do the ride in memory family members I had lost to the disease and to support those who were still fighting. At that time I had recently lost my auntie Cher to cancer, and her brother, my uncle George was in the last stages of his battle with pancreatic cancer. It wasn’t so many years before that my grandpa has passed from lung cancer after having already had skin cancer and prostate cancer during his lifetime. My great auntie Belle lost her life to Lymphoma, a disease that also affected my uncle Duncan. My auntie Robin also had a positive breast cancer diagnosis around that time, and my fiancée’s Lola (grandma) was diagnosed with colon cancer shortly after moving here from the Philippines.
The ride was an amazing experience. I had signed up as an individual but I was welcomed to the Brainiacs team by one of our very awesome team captains, David Desrochers. I met many truly amazing people and was extremely proud to have been part of a team that set a record for fundraising that year, and has raised well over a million dollars for cancer research. I eagerly signed up for the 2014 ride at camp.
I ended up missing the 2014 ride due to a scheduling conflict. Then, in the summer came the shock: I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, becoming one of the youngest in my family to be hit with the disease. It’s cliché, but despite how common cancer is in my family I never thought it’d happen to me, and certainly not so soon.
It’s been nearly eight months since I was diagnosed, and almost a year since I first noticed that something was “wrong”. Just has I had fully recovered from my surgery came the news that I’d have to have chemotherapy, which I just completed at the beginning of April. I’m one of the lucky ones, chemo is almost always curative for my form of cancer, but having experienced it first-hand, it is a brutal and miserable way to fight a disease. I am more determined than ever to do my small part in funding research that will lead to more effective and less invasive treatments.
I am determined to fight back and ride again in the 2015 Ride to Conquer Cancer. If you'd like to support me, please click to "support Jonathan" link above and to the left and make a tax-deductible donation. Thank you!