Today, I am thankful for the first seven.

Today, I am thankful for the first seven donors of my 4K for Cancer bike ride.  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see my previous blog post Summer 2014. Cycle. Inspire. Unite.)

These people have all brought me to tears, as I watched each of their names and donations scroll the home page of the 4K for Cancer site.  Each one of them have had an impact on my life and their donations have meant the world.

Julie, the one who introduced me to the 4K for Cancer.  She was a rider last summer on Team San Francisco, the same route I will be taking.  Her stories and success have inspired me to challenge myself and fight cancer.  She is an amazingly strong person and one of my best friends.

Nancy, my acting professor and motherly-figure through college.  My mother passed away on Monday, August 31, 2009, my very first day of freshman year at Temple.  When I returned to school two weeks later, Nancy was one of the first impressions I had of Temple Theaters.  She welcomed me with a huge hug and treated me so kindly that first semester at Temple.  Nancy is such an inspiration to me, being a strong, kind, talented, and loving person.  When I think of my time at Temple and smile, she is one the reasons.

Erin, a great friend from childhood and high school.  I have known Erin since we were little gingers together.  We would play Pretty, Pretty Princess with a couple other close childhood friends (and I would steal the jewelry), celebrate New Year’s Eve by forming a pop band and dancing on couches, and fight over the “little swing” in my backyard until I told on her and called her a “pain in my butt.”  I was seven.  In high school, we reconnected, bonding over our ginger pride, love of tennis, and deep passion for Apples to Apples.  Erin is not only a fellow blogger (Get@Err) and hysterical, but also one of the strongest girls I know.

Maggie, an inspiration and role model to me.  While she taught me ballet and jazz at Temple, I learned so much more from her.  She radiates positive energy and a deep spiritual connection to the world around her.  The life lessons she lives and her perspective on life is not only refreshing, but incredibly inspiring.  She introduced me to dance, clean eating, and spirituality, changing my life for the better.

Kerry, a hysterical girl that I always have fun with.  She was one of those people who you admire from afar, always wanting to be just like them and best friends with them.  And somehow the pieces fell into place as I enjoyed many summers with her, spending much time at her place in Fishtown, being clowns in Tartuffe, and creating a Philly Fringe piece with Found Theater Company.  She has always been a beautiful person, but especially as she and Found members welcomed me with open arms.

Anna Lou, a great friend since freshman year of college.  This girl is one of my favorite friends I have made while at Temple, being a caring, talented, and entertaining person.  There have been times when we have fought, but I blame our overachieving, high-strung, and down-right crazy Type A personalities.  Don’t worry, we’re working on it.

Mike, a good friend of my older brother, Kyle.  While I only know him through childhood friends and my older brother, it just goes to show how kind people can be.  We don’t know each other very well, but he felt inclined enough to support me and donate to my ride against cancer.  And for that, I am touched and so grateful.

What inspires me so much is that these seven people come from all walks of life, having different beliefs, careers, and stories – but all of them have donated to fight cancer.  And that is what the 4K is all about – coming together as a community and a nation, to support those with cancer and create hope for a better future.

I am so thankful for these people, who are all united with me to fight cancer.  Please consider donating to my ride.  The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, the 4K for Cancer, and the riders use the money directly – providing care packages for cancer fighters, scholarships for young adults affected by cancer, and resources to make the fight against cancer just a little bit easier.

To donate, visit my fundraising page.  If you have any questions, please contact me.  I am more than happy to talk more about this cause (and will definitely do so in future blogs 😉 ).  It takes some time to process, so if you have donated already, I will see it shortly.

I am touched by those who have already donated.  Today, I am thankful for you.

Cycle. Inspire. Unite.
Michael

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