What I asked of my friends and family for the Ride to Conquer Cancer

Dear Clients, Fans, Friends & Family, I’m sorry to do this as a large group message – it’s not normally my style but I needed to be able to reach out to you all quickly and I only have email addresses for some of you.

You all already know me in one way or another. Some of you know me through our family, others through my daughter Alyssa. Maybe we met through my work as an early childhood educator, or a photographer. Others still know me through community events, the kin clubs, or friends. No matter how we met, or how long it’s been since we last spoke, you are my community. You are my support system.

Today I’m writing this message because I’m thrilled to be participating in the 2014 Embridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. And I need your help!

What is the Ride to Conquer Cancer?

“The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer® benefiting Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is a chance to discover what it means to be a hero. During one amazing weekend, June 7-8, 2014, thousands of men and women will prove that there is strength in numbers. They will join forces to cycle throughout the picturesque countryside of Ontario in two days and make a real difference in the fight to conquer cancer. The net proceeds will benefit Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, a leader in this critical cause.” I have chosen to participate in the classic course – A 200+km route from Toronto to Niagara Falls. I am excited to train for such an amazing and challenging event physical as well as in gathering donations. My goal in participating in this event is to challenge myself, support a cause I believe in, and set an example of a healthy lifestyle for both my own daughter and any other little (and big) eyes that may be watching me.

Ride to Conquer Cancer Logo

A few of My Reasons Why

1) Alyssa. It should come as no surprise that my daughter Alyssa is high on the list of my reasons for doing this. She has struggled the last few years with her own confidence and self-image but it wasn’t until I stepped back to look at things, really look at things that I realized I might be hurting more than helping with the example I was setting. Sure I was supportive and encouraging of her. I was always loving and supportive. But, was I setting an example of a healthy lifestyle & a healthy self-esteem? So I dove in! First with some lifestyle changes, then a little 5Km run, but when I came across the ride I knew this was it! I’ve been training hard, trying to make better decisions and raising money for a cause I care about. Beyond that, I’ve been doing it openly sharing both my successes and my struggles with Alyssa to set the example.

2) Friends and Family While I have had many experiences with cancer with friends and family throughout my life (many have fought, and 13 have not won this battle in my life), and my own recent cancer scare, this year it hit home yet again.

One woman I know well was diagnosed with Breast Cancer not 2 years ago and has undergone treatment over these last two years. While the cancer greatly reduced, I’ve seen the effects this has had on her health, her family, and even who she is. I got involved in this ride and had to share the word with people around me. One of those people I shared it with, a co-worker in my school board, decided to join me for this ride. We were excited about the ride, supporting a great cause, the physical challenge, and sharing this experience. But days later I heard from him again, his wife had fallen ill and the culprit had been identified as brain cancer. She was given months. Now I carry the weight of the ride for both of us as he (with a team of doctors and nurses) cares for his wife.

One week after I registered for the Ride to Conquer Cancer a child in my kindergarten class was suddenly diagnosed with cancer. I have visited him regularly as he has fought this disease, watched his family handle all the challenges that have come with the diagnosis, and continually thought – no one should have to go through this or watch someone they love go through this.

How can you help?

I am reaching out today to you in our community for your support by a donation (form attached or go to http://www.conquercancer.ca/goto/RebeccaNash). Can you find some money to help conquer cancer in our lifetime? I’ve received the support of individual friends, family members, co-workers, and even my union but I still have a long way to go to meet my fundraising minimum of $2,500 and my personal goal of $5,000. Every $ counts towards this amazing cause. (All donations above $10 will receive a tax receipt and 100% of all donations go directly to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation for their ongoing research as one of the top 5 cancer institutes in the world.)

In addition to raising donations traditionally, I have also made all art available through my photography available on my Etsy store with 100% of all proceeds (after shipping) going to the ride in the month of May (check it out at etsy.com/shop/RebeccaNashPhoto).

Please take a moment to consider if you can give whether it be big or small I appreciate it all! Want to help even more? Please share my status online, email your friends and family, or download the pledge form from my donation page (near the bottom) and take it in to work to gather even more support. Thank you all for your ongoing support and encouragement! I love you all!

Rebecca Nash Participant #584152-3 519-204-6871