2nd Annual Karen Petty Memorial Double Century Bike Ride Against Pancreatic Cancer
If you are on this website you have either supported me in the fight against pancreatic cancer, or have been involved with fighting pancreatic cancer in some way. I have become very involved with fighting pancreatic cancer since I lost my close friend Karen Petty to the disease just over a year ago. This fight has manifested itself in 2 ways. The first action I took was riding my bike 200 miles solo from West Warwick, RI to Thornton, NH last September. This ride was designed as a tribute to Karen's incredible life and as an event with shock power. In my mind if you show people you are willing to suffer for something then they pay attention. This disease needs our attention. Secondly I have become deeply involved with a national organization called the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as the Rhode Island Affiliate Event Coordinator. Many of you met me or saw me at this years Purple Stride walk at Goddard Park. Between these 2 events I am proud to say I have helped raise close to $140,000 for the cause, most of that coming from fellow Rhode Islanders who have been touched by this disease. Here is a bit of background on why I started this fight against pancreatic cancer.
As a kid I spent most afternoons at Karen Petty's house with her son Jason Petty. I felt as if it were a second home – the kind of place where you just walk in – no knocking needed. I have always felt this way about Karen and her husband Joe, even as I have gotten older and life's responsibilities have lessened our time together. They have both always been the kind of people I can sit down with and talk to and feel totally comfortable....like one of the family. It is the kind of relationship you value above all others. Karen's passing has affected me in many ways, one of which was anger. I kept asking myself “why” in anger. The kind of anger that makes you shake your head and your fists and just ask the question “why” over and over. I've come to the conclusion that there really isn't any good reason why – not God or luck. It was because of an errant cell – a confused, malignant, and multiplying cell that caused the cancer that took my friend's life. Knowing Karen and her awesome attitude, I believe she would have found some positive in this and made something of it. I have decided that fighting Pancreatic Cancer is a very personal mission. I feel that there is no better way to honor Karen than to help kill the disease that she fought so valiantly against. I want to step on it, kick it, squash it.
Unfortunately it isn't like taking on the school bully. I can't take it out in the schoolyard and try to whip it. The only thing I can do is to try to help the doctors and scientists who are most actively seeking a cure to pancreatic cancer. As some of you know I have been a bike rider for all of my teen and adult life. I have completed many charity rides and have always been willing to go out and tough it out for the money pledged to me by friends and family. I always knew it was a good thing to do but never had any deep conviction about why I was doing it. I have found my conviction. In honor of Karen and all who have fought, or are fighting pancreatic cancer, I have commited myself wholeheartedly to make an annual bike ride from Karen and Joe's house in West Warwick, Rhode Island to their cabin in Thornton, New Hampshire. Upwards of about 200 miles. This ride will be completed in 1 day. I have always thought that people who donate to me should get their fair share of sweat and suffering for their money. 200 miles delivers on that account. I also think it is important to suffer in honor of those your riding for – delivering the best performance you can muster. I will always do my best to honor Karen every second I am on the bike. Please help me make this ride a success and help squash Pancreatic Cancer out of existence.
Check Donations can be made payable to : Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
70 Rip Van Winkle Cir. Warwick, RI 02886
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Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!