Over the last 3 years I have dedicated part of my life (it feels like most of it) to raising money and awareness for Cancer Research. The majority of people have been supportive. Along the way there has been what is known in the cyber world as haters or trolls. Yes, even those who are doing something so selfless are the target of those people.
The last few months have been particularly hard for me. And normally, I will just ignore it all and understand that some people will just like to bring people down as it makes them feel better. But bit by bit, comment after comment and action after action it eventually got to me. So I did what the little kid inside me has always done – I backed into a corner and let it get to me.
It got to me to the point that I was going to walk away from it all. I had fallen victim to the doubt that one person could make a difference. I had fallen victim to the truth that there never will be an actual cure for cancer. And I had fallen victim to a few people who were hell bent on trying to ruin my Ride to Conquer.
And then came a message from one of the biggest fighters that I have spent the better part of 3 years fighting for. Michelle. The M in Mince and the M in Maverick! Along with Vince, Michelle has been there for every kilometer I have cycled. Michelle is 29 and for the majority of her adult life she has been fighting Cancer. It has taken different forms, a sign that it is trying to invade any part of her body to win its fight. But Michelle just keeps fighting harder.
If we all take a moment to think of the years between 18 and 29, there are so many major moments in those years that Michelle has been deprived of. She couldn't live her life, because she was trying to save it.
Boyfriends and girlfriends, engagements, marriage, kids. Buying your first house, going on a holiday and sharing memories with those who were close.
Just after Michelle turned 29 in January, I felt that I wanted to do something special for her given there was so much in her 20’s that she had missed out on. But the one thing that Michelle wanted, I could never give her. That was a baby.
For someone who is fighting daily for her life, pumping poisons into her body to try and stop the cancer invading and having a body that’s mission is to destroy the one thing Michelle so dearly wanted, a new life was never really a consideration. Saving hers was.
But while we all went on dinner dates, Michelle was having breakfast dates in the Peter Mac Cafeteria. This is where she met Matthew, a fellow cancer patient. That was the common ground where love was to blossom.
Matthew was also fighting for his life – a battle that he would lose. Just 10 weeks ago, Matthew became an angel and left Michelle with the greatest legacy!
Today, I am so proud to write about Michelle being 26 weeks pregnant. Obviously a very high risk pregnancy, but she has a little miracle, a little life that will be bought into this world that will show that no matter what – Cancer can be beaten.
|The picture of life|
This story is bitter sweet. The little life that grows inside Michelle will never get to meet his daddy. And his mummy still has to face the fight by continuing to undergo treatment for the disease that just won’t give up. Even whilst pregnant, Michelle still has to have a modified treatment plan consisting of chemo and radiotherapy. A plan that is targeted to destroy her tumors, but preserve the little life that is determined to grow. It reminds me of a desert flower: even the harshest conditions won’t stop life when it is determined to grow.
|Some things are just meant to be|
So, I am yet again reminded that in the times that I feel that life is getting me down and I just want to walk away, I just have to turn to my angels and fighters. Each and every one of them provide me with a level of inspiration, courage and hope. I have to keep my eye on the prize … and when faced with death in nearly every direction I have turned in the last 3 years, it is so nice to finally focus on life!