Rebecca Hemsley-Gakidis's Ride
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Do you know who you are?
Sometimes, somehow, life hands us these extraordinary moments that make sense. The kind that give us reason, explanation and inspiration, and sometimes the chills. They give us meaning in an often in-explainable world. Solid moments.
On Day 2 last year, a serendipitous moment caused my PMC journey to click into place at an intersection somewhere in Sandwich. My sister stopped when she spotted a friend of hers cheering on the side of the road, but I couldn’t get over to the side fast enough and rode on ahead to the other side of the intersection. I paused waiting for Marlissa, (who had really rode on ahead) to circle back for the break, when a gentleman, cheering on that corner, approached me, extended his hand and thanked me. I was slightly confused, taken back. He told me I had a nice jersey on, you see he was wearing the same one -Patriots Platelet Peddlers. The PPP is the team I ride with. The money we raise as a team for PMC goes directly to Dr. Anderson and his Multiple Myeloma Research within Dana Farber. 3 years ago I joined because my dad has ridden with them for over a decade and he suggested that I did. No other reason, just cause dad thought it was a good thing to do.
Back to the side of the road in Sandwich. I think
I probably said something stupid about the weather, and he said, “Yeah, I’m
that guy!”, obviously I must have still had a bewildered look on my face because
he continued, ” That Dr. Anderson guy, that’s me!”
I sucked in air, hand to my mouth, tears welling in my eyes, still
perched on my bike, and threw my arms around him, while saying “Do
you know who you are?” “Do
you have any idea?” He was
looking a bit bewildered himself when he responded, “Well, yeah, I just told
you!” At that point, I think he had a
moment of regretting approaching me, clearly someone suffering from heat
exhaustion and dementia, and the tears didn’t really help my case.
But I did know who he was. Not because he is “that guy” whose research is supported by PPP, or because I had ever met him before, or because he said he was Dr. Anderson. I knew him because he is Daves Dr., and Dave had just come from a radiation treatment the previous Friday. I knew him because he had just discovered an active tumor on Daves spine a few weeks before. I knew him because Dave received a stem-cell transplant in his care 5 years ago. I knew him because there is a chance, without him, Dave wouldn’t still today be making solid moments with his family, friends and in his life. Dave is my friend, my children are his children's friends, his wife is one of my dearest friends.
Click, click click.
Day 1, I spent the
first 60 miles anticipating the impossible hill in Acushnet, the "double black diamond" that the year
before, I traversed up, hardly moving, ears ringing. I was anticipating that moment, of the challenge
to keep my legs moving, sweat, tears and fear of defeat. More importantly, I was anticipating my
reward. The lone bagpiper who stoically ceremonially
played at the top of that hill, just for me. Last year, (thanks to some more professional
training on my part,) there was no traversing, no “hold your lines” being
whipped at me, no tears, (in fact, I actually passed a couple of people who
were having the same troubles I was the year before.)
There was also no bagpiper. Dang. That moment? That was one of the disappointing ones, until it became a rewarding one. After all, I had sort of tackled the impossible hill, on my own without the help of some unreliable Scotsman. A triumphant moment.
I ride for those moments, the serendipitous, the ones snatched away and the ones that life hands us for inspiration. Every moment that Johnny and anyone who has ever loved him has been robbed of, because Cancer took his body. The moments Dave spends in radiation, walking the dog in the woods, kissing his kids goodnight. The fleeting ones, the waiting ones. The extraordinary, good and bad.
Do you know who you are? You are made up moments. And at this moment, I hope I have inspired you to donate to my ride, support Dana Farber, Dr Anderson, Dave, and everyone else who receives the treatment, support, and rewards of this monumental effort. Support their moments of triumph and defeat. I can guarantee if you do, it will be an extraordinary one, filled with purpose and reason. A solid moment.
Last year, 100% of rider-raised revenue went directly to the Jimmy Fund.
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My Paceline Supporters
|I have chosen to keep all of my donors' information confidential; therefore it is not displayed on my PMC public donor list.|
|2014||$4,516.48||Wellesley to Family Finish at Ptown (2-Day)|
|2013||$4,912.09||Wellesley to Family Finish at Ptown (2-Day)|
|2012||$4,213.76||Wellesley to Bourne (1-Day, Sat)|