Alice has been a part of the Mamma Jamma Ride since the beginning. She shared her story with us about how she first got involved with the ride.
After my last infusion on May 5, 2009, the 3 weeks of recovery from chemo passed quickly and were NOT the worst like I was expecting. Learning about a charity bike ride in October that would raise money to support breast cancer patients gave me the mental edge I needed over any physical side effects.
May 14, 2009 was the Kick-Off Party for the Inaugural Mamma Jamma Bike Ride that would be held on October 10. The party was outdoors on a beautiful cool night in Austin, TX; I went with the purpose of learning more and to register for the ride.
I talked with representatives for the ten non-profits that were the ride beneficiaries. I listened to the Ride Director and the Honorary Ride Chair speak about what the ride would mean for patients and families dealing with this disease. Three things became evident:
1. I felt like a selfish cancer patient. I had been so self-absorbed in my own cancer treatment that I hadn’t thought about what it was like for others:
- Women in their 20’s or 30’s have young children who can’t understand why mommy’s hair is falling out.
- Some face the disease alone and have no one to cook meals for them, or no transportation to treatment.
- Others have no medical insurance and can’t afford the care they need to save their lives … just to name a few…
Compared to any one of these, my cancer treatment – though difficult – had been a breeze. I always had someone to mentor or help me every step of the way. What a blessing to have these people in my life, making my cancer treatment “manageable”. It could have been so much worse like it is for many.
2. The Mamma Jamma was different kind of fundraiser – A Gala on a Bike, money raised by the ride would provide numerous services & support to patients and their families. The impact is immediate – improving the lives from those newly diagnosed, to those whose cancer has metastasized. It is a ride to let cancer patients know they are not alone. The 10 beneficiaries form a continuum of care for our community.
3. I needed to form a team and try to encourage as many friends as I could to join me. Signing up to do the ride myself would not be enough. Instead of just asking for donations from my biking friends, together our fundraising efforts could do so much more. I left the party that night feeling as if I had been given the biggest gift ever – the gift to “pay it forward”.
Alice is a former stay-at-home mom of 3 daughters – Laura, Sarah & Kelly – who have all left the nest. She also served as interim director for the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride in 2012 and currently serves on the board. She has been happily married to the love of her life, Mark since 1980. We’ll be sharing more of Alice’s story through the summer but you can read all her articles on her blog www.thishomeplate.com. If you have a story you would like to share about why the ride is important to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to share or call 512-765-5526.