I am a 37 year-old recently-diagnosed leukemia patient and I am riding my bicycle across the United States to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
Barely three months ago, I was sitting in a comfortable hospital chair with a
drip in my vein through which chemotherapy medication was gradually dripped in
my blood stream. Just over two months ago, I was at home with no appetite, no
energy and no desire to get out of my sofa going through the pounds that my body
would shed day by day. At times my whole body would hurt, my bones would hurt to
the core and I thought it would hurt forever. But it didn't. I began to gain
strength. I started eating again, I started being myself again. It felt like
learning to walk again. The whole experience was confusing, embarrassing,
isolating. I went back to work and I started seeing life for what it really is:
an opportunity. And I went to the things I love. Cycling. I started training.
The first workout was as frustrating as anything, a snail-paced 7-mile ride that
would have embarrassed anyone. I felt spent, discouraged, uninterested. I was
close to tears and I thought that I would never be strong again. I fought the
urge to quit my bike or even sell it. But little by little, mile by mile,
through agony at times, yells and tears, I learnt what the mind can do. I
watched the Adidas ad and I agreed: impossible is nothing. Well, almost... One
week I'd walk, the next I'd jog, the next I'd run. After a few weeks I knew I
was gonna to give it a shot. I was gonna train for this ride. I thought that if
I'd throw myself into a project of this kind maybe I could raise awareness about
this disease, maybe I could raise funds for cancer research and... maybe I'd get
healthier. I hope that patients like me will have a chance to be cured and live.
Cancer research, coupled with self-belief and determination, helps millions
of patients to live.
This is the chronicle of my journey through the United States on a bike only
four months from my diagnosis. This is the story of my journey back to life.