Friday, 29 June 2012

The Beginning

OK - here goes. Me - Blogging! 

My Reason to Ride is simple - to raise money for Cancer Research. And the place where that research takes place is Peter Mac. If you live in Victoria, this place is something that most people have heard of. And if you live outside of Victoria, chances are you have still heard of it! 

Peter Mac is a public hospital that specialises in the treatment of Cancer. One whole big hospital, dedicated to trying to treat those who are suffering from this life threatening disease. Once whole big building trying to find a reason not to exist! 

I remember when I first stepped foot into Peter Mac. There was no emergency department. There was no fancy entrance that I saw. It was very plain and very boring. We made our way to Level 2 (for memory) where we were there to visit Vince. This would be the first of many visits. 

It has been just over 5 years since Cancer became a word that made my heart ache. I had known people in the past who had cancer, I had known people in the past who had died of cancer. I was either too young or too distant to know what it really meant. But on June 20, 2007 at 4:49pm, this word became a word that would forever break my heart. 

This was the moment that my brother-in-law picked up the phone, pushed the numbers to call his little brother and tell him that he had Cancer. It was kidney cancer, that had spread to his lymph nodes and it didn't look good. The doctors had told him (I'm sure in their very sensitive bedside manor) to go home and prepare to die. Through a very blurred conversation there is 2 things I will never forget. The moment Mello dropped to his knees sobbing and the one question Vince had for me - "What will I tell Mum?" 

By all calculations, Vince should not have been around to celebrate Christmas in 2007. But because of Peter Mac, he will be here to celebrate Christmas in 2012 ... and probably in 2052 knowing Vince! 

First it began as fight to support my Brother-In-Law in the fight of his life. 

Then it began as a Fight to support my husband and the rest of his family as Vince put in the fight of his life. 

Now, it is Fighting Back - to try and Conquer Cancer. 

I am doing this ride for Vince and for Peter Mac to say Thank You. 

Thank You to Peter Mac for saving him. 
Thank you to Vince for putting up with the Chemo, the operations, the mental fight and the physical fight. 

You will now find below some of my thoughts that I have posted on my Ride To Conquer Cancer fundraising page:

And from now on, I will share my thoughts on here! 


That warm gooey feeling
The challenge is The Ride to Conquer Cancer.
It is a 200km Epic Journey that will have an Epic Impact. On the weekend of October 27 28, 2012 we will spend 2 days cycling 200kms through Victoria's country side. But that is only half of our commitment. The other half is that each of us has committed to raising $2500 for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Unless we raise the money, we will not be able to participate.
Riding 200kms is a challenge. To do that, we have to start training for it now. So our lives as we knew them have been put on hold. We are up before the sun squeezing in a training ride before we start the day. We are up late at night doing training on exercise bikes. We have changed our diets to bring out our best in our training and our families have now began to accept that cycling has become a part of all of our lives.
1 in 2 Australian's will be diagnosed with Cancer in their lifetime. But now, thanks to Peter Mac, is does not have to be a death sentence like it used to be. Every day there are new drug trials that are showing outstanding results, new treatment plans that extend the lives of patients and new staff employed to support the patients and families where trials and treatments have not yet been able to work. The Australian Government does very little to support drug trials due to legal ramifications, therefore, they rely heavily on donations, voluntary contributions and sponsorships.
We all have a "cancer story" that we can share. Whenever we hear the C word, we get that ache in our heart and lump in our throats and try hard not to think of why the word Cancer is so difficult. We all hope that the day will come when Cancer is not so scary, when Cancer is not a death sentence and Cancer is curable.
So, if you would like to help us on our Epic Journey, please donate by clicking the DONATE button. (Go to the web link
You can make a one off donation of any amount. There are also plans where you can make a regular monthly contribution. You chose the amount and the time (no more than 12 months) and it will happen automatically for you.
In honor of the fight my brother-in-law put in to be with us today, and in honor of Peter Mac for saving him, I would like to do this for him!
by Rebecca Failla on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 @ 11:11 PM 

Each Saturday morning, I haul myself out of bed at 6am after a tough week and head out on my long training ride. Often this is the only "road" ride I get each week - the rest of my training is on the indoor trainer in the garage once the kids have gone to bed.
But each Saturday, I sit outside and wait for the sun to rise enough for me to hit the road. And each Saturday morning, I dedicate my ride to someone who is on my bike. I dedicate my sweat, my pain, my battle and my victory to the effort that someone else has put in to fight Cancer.
And each Saturday morning, I dedicate that sunrise to that person. Some are survivors : many are not.
These rides are also a tough emotional battle. Grief is raw and grief never goes away. It just changes. And I find that I grieve for people I don't even know. But they are a huge significance in my life now.
Today's sunrise - it was just for me. I needed some time away from the feeling of grief. I needed to just be me on this ride today. And it was hard. It was hard, because when I felt the pain in my legs, I didn't push through - I just slowed down. And I didn't return home with the same feeling that I usually do.
Either way - it was a 20km ride still with a purpose. And that purpose is now splashed across my back side for everyone else to see ....
by Rebecca Failla on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 @ 4:17 AM 

RIP - Jim Stynes
The precise moment was 20/03/2012 @ 8:43am. I received a text message from my husband simple saying "Jim Stynes passed away"
This was a moment that we all knew would come. But no amount of knowing can ever prepare you for the actual moment. I, a person who has observed from the outside and has followed Jim through the media, stopped and shed many tears for a man I had never met.
We will all remember him for different things.
The great footballer - perhaps the best!
The president who saved the oldest football club.
The man who suffered publically with Cancer.
The inspirational man who co-founded Reach. He believed everyone had greatness and the aim of Reach was to make kids see this in themselves no matter what their background was.
But that is how we remember him. There is also the other side that none of us will ever know about. It is thinking about Sam, Matisse and Tiernan his wife, daughter and son. It is thinking about his mum and dad, it is thinking about his sisters. If we, the public, have such an outpouring of grief, it is hard to comprehend the impact this will have on his family.
So today, I find motivation again to show my greatness. This is the lesson I will take from Jim's life and Jim's battle and show that anyone can make a difference. Show that anyone can get off the couch and set their mind to something. And make a difference.
This will be my greatness!
by Rebecca Failla on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 @ 9:01 PM 

Hitting the Milestone
I would like to share a quote that my 11 year old niece had on her Facebook. Yes she is 11 and thinks like this! (Thank you Jessie Pratt!)

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am proud of what I have achieved, but would never have done it without all of you who are reading this (and others) and those on the honour role. Without your support, my goal would probably still be sitting at 0% and not 100%.

I am proud of the difference I am making ... because it matters to me. I have sat at Peter Mac and watched people I love battle for their lives. I have sat in waiting rooms with families that have all been called in because their loved one will not see light of the following day. I have been at home waiting for my husband to return from watching his brother suffer like no man should have to suffer.
When I tell people my story and of the Ride, I have never asked them straight out for money. I share my story, my experience and all too often people relate to this story. They relate because they have seen the battle first hand. They have sat in waiting rooms. They have been waiting for someone to return from a hospital visit.
I will never remain silent on my Quest to Conquer Cancer. Because it matters to me. It matters to my family. It matters to my friends. It matters to people I have never met.
This is only the start of my Fight Back.
by Rebecca Failla on Thu, May 03, 2012 @ 7:32 PM 

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