Today marks one year from my most despairing moment…
On February 17th at 4am in a Melbourne hotel room I joined Abby via FaceTime for her three month post-cancer check-up. We were certain we had left cancer in our wake and were shaken to our core when Abby’s doctor described her cancer’s rapid recurrence. Alone, halfway around the world, unable to comfort Abby, I felt completely helpless as I scrambled to unwind my first business trip of 2016 and board the next flight home.
A year beyond that most despairing moment and 10 months after Abby’s death, my grief still comes in waves. But the waves are calmer and kinder. I’m finding my old self again but also recognizing a new me emerging – stronger, wiser, more compassionate. I am thankful for all that I’ve learned; for these terrible unintended gifts that I can’t return, but that I can use for good. It’s with this learning that I have great hope and I’d like to ask once again for your support and love to create change.
Here is my hope and dream for 2017. Imagine with me… On August 13th, 6 months from now, you will be riding Obliteride 2017 with more than 75 Abby’s Army riders. We will celebrate life and friendships and raise over $110,000 for cancer research in 2017 – tallying our total progress over three years to $200,000! Our story will be played out on local news, through social media and through our individual communities and friendships inspiring hope in all those who have felt hopeless at times in their journey with cancer. It will be serious fun.
You’ve already helped turn despair into hope. Now join me to ride, recruit and raise money and turn hope into action and create the change that Abby taught us to embrace every day, even when we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Cherish that gift for good. Here’s how:
- Register for Team Abby’s Army today – set an ambitious goal for yourself in terms of recruiting and fundraising
- Second guessing yourself right about now? STOP! Just sign up. You won’t regret it for a minute. If you do, call me and I’ll personally send you a refund for your entrance fee. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
- Watch and share the 2016 Obliteride video or Justin’s Obliteride starting line speech with your community and give others the opportunity to join you in doing work for good.
- We’ll have lots of opportunity to raise money and do all sorts of creative ways to engage our community. Last year we had pop-up dinners, charity concerts, and more. 2017 will be bigger and better and oranger!
- For now, give yourself a pat on the back by donating to your own ride once you’ve signed up.
Here’s to leaning into those hard, despairing moments, finding hope and inspiration from those you love, and creating meaningful change together. Join me and Abby’s Army for Obliteride 2017.
Love and healing,
Justin, Jaren and Miri