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Looking forward to a weekend with my sister


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When Kelly was diagnosed last May, one of the first things I did after the bombardment of Dr. appts, was search online for some sort of cancer charity bike ride. I love to ride, my other sister and her husband love to ride, Kelly's husband loves to ride - it just seemed very appropriate. I felt so helpless, despite how much help I was able to be to her, what with me being fluent in medicaleze and all. :) And yet I still felt so helpless. I think we can all agree, nothing can make you feel quite as helpless as cancer! I just wanted to do something, anything, to make a small difference.

So I ended up finding the Livestrong Challenge in Philly, with bike distances of 10, 45, 70 and 100 miles, all through very hilly terrain. My other sister and her husband and I signed up to ride and between the 3 of us we raised over $4000 for a great cause. And we rode in Kelly's name, including a cutom-designed team uniform with our team name on it - Kelly's Posse. It was a tough ride, though I did actually speak to Lance along the route, just didn't realize until he passed me that it was in fact Lance, took a minute for the motorcycle police escort to register.

Unfortunately Kelly didin't join us. There was another family obligation, but mostly I think it was the fact that she was thick into chemo/radiation and she was worried about her ability to make the trip. I cried on the phone that evening when I filled her in on the ride and I asked her to promise me she'd be at the finish line in 2008 when we rode again for her.

Well, guess what, it is 4 days before the 2008 ride, and our team this year is 15 strong - with 10 cyclists and 5 people doing the 5K. And you guessed it, Kelly will be at the finish line. As I have been joking, Kelly is captain of the 'wine drinking portion' of Kelly's Posse. :) She's so excited and takes such pride in what she calls "MY TEAM". Because we are her team. We ride for all those out there who are fighting the beast, and for all the loved ones we lost to it. But we ride with her name on our jerseys. She doesn't know it, but the company that made my uniforms even made me one jersey that just says "KELLY" on it, rather than Kelly's Posse. Because she should have her own shirt! Normally you have to order a minimum of 6 of any design, but when I told them about her and the desire to have her shirt just say Kelly, the guy I have worked with said "I can make that happen". I can't wait to surprise her with the shirt.

So I plan to make some wonderful memories with my sister this weekend. I'll take lots of pictures and make a video too. I'll keep saying my prayers that next year she's sitting there waiting for us at the finish line again, but I will take nothing for granted this year. I am thankful that she's able to fulfill that promise she made to me last year, as I laid in my hotel room sore and tired and bleeding from a nasty shin wound (got to remember to unclip from my pedals BEFORE I tip over :)) and worrying that I would be riding in memory this year, not in honor of her. Here is to many more rides in honor of Kelly and all the rest of you here who are fighting this horrible beast.

Wish me luck and keep good thoughts for no rain and no war wounds for me. :) It will be such fun to share this with my team which this year includes Kelly's husband and her eldest daughter. Send us positive vibes and I'll fill you all in after the event. If anyone was thinking of making a donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, feel free to check out my site http://philly08.livestrong.org/bensonki . No pressure though, I know how tough the economy is these days, just thought I would toss it out there. Sort of "pimping my ride" I guess you can say. ;) My team has raised a good bit of money and we are happy to be supporting a great cause.

Here's to all of us having a wonderful weekend as the summer winds down and fall sits around the corner. Cherish each day, I know I am going to!

Thanks for listening. :)

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