Sunday, April 27, 2008

ride for life

in·spire fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence: produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.): to inspire confidence in others. fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought influence or impel animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does: They were inspired by a belief in a better future. communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence guide or control by divine influence. prompt or instigate (utterances, acts, etc.) by influence, without avowal of responsibility. give rise to, bring about, cause

I'm constantly inspired by the people around me who work towards something with purpose. It might be teaching children, working to help the community, donating their time, or any number of selfless acts. Just being in a room with a friend who puts energy into tasks that are more significant than fills me with a fire to make a difference in my own life. Now, imagine being in a room with 200 of these people. That was the wonderful way I spent my Saturday.

I was contacted by Anne Ehlers and Mimi Epstein, the lovely ladies of Team Forte, about photographing the Ovarian Cycle "Ride to Change the Future" event. The goal of the group is to raise funds that go directly to research for developing better ways to detect ovarian cancer early, and to work towards treatments and a cure.

The all-day cycling fund-raiser was held at the beautiful Midtown Athletic Club. Participants raised lots and lots of money for the organization, and showed up yesterday to ride for 6 hours!!! Note: I took one spinning class in 1999, and cried when it was over. These folks were unstoppable. There were people of all ages cycling. Some brought their families, some were riding in memory of a lost loved one, and some were survivors themselves.

I'm not shy about using this blog to point out what a total sap I am, and in true form, I did my share of sniffling and tear-wiping yesterday. There were signs, each carefully attached to the bike of a hard-pedaling cyclist. Several signs had photos, and included the phrase, "In Loving Memory Of...". After taking photos of the signs, I would quietly move along, but each one choked me up.

I couldn't help but think of my Grandma Bode, who has survived 3 types of cancer so far, my Dad who has survived two types, my Grandma Reif, who lived through 3 types of cancer before we lost her last year, and a number of friends who continue to fight it. Two priceless treasures in our lives are a healthy body and the people we love. When both are lost, the pain is immeasurable. So, my heartfelt thanks to anyone who donates their time or money to help eliminate such losses.

Thank you so much to everyone at the Ovarian Cycle event for a day full of inspiration that I'll continue to carry with me!

There are a few pics below, but to see a slideshow of more images , click HERE


maryk said...

i believe i gave to this, my friend chrissie was involved. i didn't realize it was an inside cycling event.

hk|imaging said...

That is so cool Stacey! What an awesome thing to be able to document. And as usual, you did it extremely well!!