JOIN THE BATTLE. HELP ME KEEP MY BEST FRIEND'S MEMORY ALIVE.
Cycle Gives Each of us the Power to Truly Make a Difference
Cycle for Survival is the national, indoor relay-style team cycling event that has raised over $221 million to date in support of lifesaving research on rare cancers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in NYC. Since it's start in 2007, Cycle has directly funded over 100+ clinical trials and research studies at MSKCC. My good friend Alyssa Acquafredda received her treatments at MSKCC in NYC. This event was started by another amazing woman, Jennifer Goodman Linn and her husband Dave in 2007. In this event, each team is assigned spin bikes for a duration of 4 hours. During the 4 hours, each team member must ride an allocated time and raise a minimum of $1,000 per team bike.
Why Do I Ride?
Did you know that, when combined, about half of all patients fighting cancer are fighting a rare cancer? These are cancers you’ve likely heard of — such as leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid, ovarian, brain, pancreatic, and all pediatric cancers. As most of you know, Alyssa was diagnosed in March 2009 with a rare cancer called AngioSarcoma. This diagnosis came out of left field as we had just recently graduated from college at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI and had begun to embark on our new lives; cancer should not have been in the cards for a 23-year-old. Alyssa was a special education teacher and was working on obtaining her Master's Degree. After the diagnosis, Alyssa had several surgeries including open-heart surgery and back surgery, both to remove growing tumors. Alyssa again received yet another surgery in the summer of 2010 and was given a new course of treatment; that treatment was funded by the money you donated to our 2009 Cycle for Survival events and I honestly couldn't have thanked you more.
Throughout those 2 years, there were several ups and downs since her diagnosis, but she always let her stregnth bounce her back. It's not the same cycling without our Hero by our side, but we know that she is always there with us in spirit, cheering us on with her tiara and yellow pom poms; yelling in our face, sining along to the music, dancing down the aisles in between the bikes, with the biggest smile on her face. Sadly, Alyssa passed away on the morning of Wednesday March 23, 2011 after a strong and courageous battle. She was an amazing individual who amazed me each and every day with her courage, faith, strength and determination.
Throughout everything, Alyssa NEVER gave up hope, proven by her two last Facebook posts:
March 3rd: "Bad things are like waves. They're going to happen to you, and there's nothing you can do about it. They're part of life, like waves are a part of the ocean. If you're standing on the shoreline, you don't know when the waves are coming. But they'll come. You gotta make sure you get back to the surface, after every wave."
March 1st: "Anything is possible. You can be told that you have a 90-percent change or a 50-percent chance or a 1-percent chance, but you have to believe, and you have to fight."
How You Can Help
Every dollar you give funds innovative studies and clinical trials led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). Discoveries made by MSK revolutionize how cancer is diagnosed and treated, helping patients everywhere. Rare cancer research is underfunded, and too often people don’t have proven treatments. Time matters. Your gift will be in the hands of researchers six months after fundraising ends and, as a donor, you will learn about the projects supported.
You can help by making a gift to my page and supporting my team Mission Cure Possible as we ride in the fight against rare cancers. Your support will help fund new research and new treatments that bring hope to people affected by rare cancers everywhere. Any donation you can donate will be greatly appreciated and will bring us that much closer to finding a cure. Although we could not help Alyssa, she would want us to continue to fight for those still affected and those yet to be; who are we kidding, Lyss would KILL us if we did not go big in her honor. As we've come to learn, sometimes life happens, and that's okay.
I am infintely better for knowing her and will try to incorporate her unique ability to shine into every moment of my life, and in that way, I hope to honor her. And as we fight, I will always know that Alyssa has her fingerprints all over the dagger that we're lodging into the heart of this beast. You'll always be my Hero Lyss, the girls and I promise to continue to Fight Yellow. Rest easy Beautiful.
Say it. Fight it. Cure it.
I can't thank you enough for your support, I'm forever grateful for your help in allowing me to carry on this fight in Alyssa's memory.