I’m Isabelle Richardson and I’m a first time SNKCR rider. I don’t have children, so a lot people ask why do I want to do this? Most people want some close personal story as to why I’m choosing to bike for 18 days across Canada. Well, aside from the fact that, I know that cancer affects everyone in some form or another, whether it’s your grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, father, mother, friend or child having the disease, it’s all touched us at some point in our lives. Cancer is the number one leading cause of death amongst all disease in children. Every year over 1700 children are diagnosed and over 10000 children in Canada are dealing with cancer as we speak. I guess that’s enough of a reason for me. But, if you want to know some of the other reasons why I’m choosing to ride for kid’s cancer…. Read below.
OTHER REASONS… in case first one isn’t enough.
January this year I turned 40. As my 40th birthday was approaching I knew that I wanted to do something BIG this year, something for the GREATER good if you will. But, also something that I knew would challenge me, physically and mentally. I’m a believer in doing things while you can, and not taking your health for granted.
I’ve had a very fortunate life. I have a great husband, lots of supportive friends and co-workers. I’ve also been lucky to be healthy and blessed with 6 beautiful and perfectly healthy nieces and nephews and 3 step children. I’m very grateful for my life and all that I have.
Although I have very little experience in biking, I’ve been a runner and a fitness competitor for years. I started to ride last year and fell in love with the sport. When I was searching for my something BIG that I wanted to do, I thought why not take part in the biggest and most ambitious charity cycling event on behalf of childhood cancer in the world? Aside from its challenge, the purpose of the ride is definitely something that I wanted to be a part of.
NOW IT’s personal…
As I contemplated my commitment, my mom got the news. She had just been told that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma. At that moment I saw her world being turned upside down. She couldn’t understand why her? She somehow thought she was deserving of this. All the information, treatment and the side effects took a toll on her. Having to be by her side to see it all first hand, confirmed that I wanted and needed to do what I could to help anyone, especially a child dealing with cancer. More importantly that I can help prevent a child or family from ever having to hear the words “you have cancer”.
There’s no doubt this will be a great physical challenge for me, which I accept. But, I think it will be even a greater mental challenge which I don’t think anyone can prepare for. I know this will be a life changing experience for me. But more importantly, I’m hoping this will be life changing for someone else someday.
-In memory of Amanda Godfrey – also in my list of reasons – you are not forgotten!