Bike to Beat Cancer 2015- TEAM HILLARD & The James Van Der Bikes
I rode the BtBC with Drew in 2013 to help him celebrate new-found fitness and motivation after his first cancer treatments for osteosarcoma. He and I did the 60+ while Matt had to peel off for the 35. In 2014 I again rode, that time with Matt (and late Wes from work) doing the 60+ while Drew was at the finish rooting us on after undergoing another treatment, this time for cancer which was found in his upper body.
One year later, 2015 finds me doing the BtBC to honor Drew, who died this past June. I'm honored to be a part of a group of his long-time friends, many former students like he from duPont Manual. They are coming from all over the country and have been training, I suspect, for the first time on long rides. I miss Drew and often think of a favorite line from "The Shawshank Redemption". Andy had escaped and Red simply states, "I guess I just miss my friend." I miss Drew, his puppy dog positive attitude, his love of rock guitar, his sincere, muted conservatism, and his general love of friends and good vibes.
I also ride for Ben Hull, younger brother of a Manual tennis player whose time line in the cancer fight mimicked Drew's second go-round. Ben was only able to live 14 years (maybe 15), but he filled the room with brightness while many around him saw dark days. I often think of his parents and his brother and hope they find a sense of peace somehow in the gaping hole left by Ben's departing.
I ask you to visit my personal page and make a donation, be it $1 or $100,000. It was a rough June. It was a rough July. Many people suffer from cancer and many people need support and eventually a cure from this shitty disease. All we can do is do what we can do. I'll be on the bike, remembering Drew and Ben, and missing them both. #FuckCancer