It’s now day 35 of the ride. I have logged just over 7100 miles as I sit in yet another hotel room in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania. I have seen some amazing parts of this country now from one coast to the other and still have a ways to go before I turn the corner and head for home. I’ve seen some of the most beautiful things that God has created in this world and have not even skimmed the surface. I have had days where I did not think they were going well, but in the end I always manage to find a positive moment to reflect on. My gps has put me in some questionable neighborhoods for sure yet there always seems to be someone there that has a positive comment for me. There have been days where I thought I just could not push myself one more mile, but I did it anyway. I’ve battled temperatures as low as 19 and as high as 99. My aches and pains in my neck, back, arm and hand sometimes make me wonder what I got myself in too. The traffic in and around cities that make me a nervous wreck at times but I keep pushing through. Is it just a quest to share a bunch of social media photo’s and move to the next spot? What drives all this? The answer is a pretty simple one and I mentioned it in my last blog as well. It’s the people. ALL of the people!
The people I have met on this journey have been and continue to be incredible. They are the driving force behind the whole thing and I never realized that it would happen that way. I used to think Ridin On with Rare Cancer was my thought and my thought alone and my quest to see some of the states I had never been to. But it really has taken on a life of it’s own, not only touching those I have met on the road but those I have met who are following the journey each day. It’s so incredibly humbling to me to think that this thought of riding around the country spreading the word about rare cancer and meeting others would touch people the way it has. Do I have control over it? No, not really. The number of people who comment about the bike and the campaign daily is almost shocking to me. People asking me to take a photo with them. People honking at me with a thumbs up as they pass. People I see in my rear view mirror at a stop light taking a photo of the sign on the back of the bike. Those who donate a meal, a small amount of cash or ask to pray with me. Folks asking me for another flyer to share with someone they know. Many others who share the horrible news of a cancer diagnosis or talk about loved ones they have lost to the disease. And then there are the really special ones I have met who are troubled with the same rare cancer that I battle.
As of today I have now met 5 others face to face who are living with or living with the after effects of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. All are very special people. We all share some common things but our cases are all very unique as well. Nobody has had their cancer treated the same. Living with a rare cancer continues to be a lonely world yet in all of it there continues to be hope. Hope for new remedies or treatments and hope for a decent future no matter what the diagnosis.
There are many more days left on the ride. Many states to see and yes, so many more new people to meet and share whatever I can with them. I have no idea at this point when I will get home. As I said before, the ride has taken on a life of it’s own and only God knows when I will get back to South Dakota. There is a part of me that misses home and wants to get back. But then there is the side of me that says this is a trip of a life time. What’s a couple of months worth in ones life? If you have never thought about taking a couple months off from your busy life to get out and meet new people, I think you’re missing out on a huge part of what life has to offer you. You will realize that even though people are all different and we may not always agree on everything in the world we live in today, the one thing you will is that the human spirit seems to be the same. People are more caring than the 24 hour news stories that cram garbage down our throats and into our minds. Even though it may not seem like it at times, people do care about people and we need to remember that. Find the good and keep Ridin On.
I would be a terrible person if I did not give a shout out to my wife Christina on this the 2nd day of June 2019. Happy 18th anniversary Chris. I’m sorry we are miles apart today but our hearts are locked in Love forever. See you soon!