October 2014 I'll return to Austin for the Ride For the Roses Weekend for my 11th year! It is a bittersweet journey, but one I am grateful to take each year. My sister Sue was diagnosed with lung cancer in June 2001. We'd lost our parents to this relentless disease and I knew I wanted, no needed to be Sue's support person, cheerleader, caretaker... her sister. I found support and hope in this quote from Lance's book " the worse I felt, the better I got". I put these words on Sue's wall for her to see each time she opened her eyes. Sue's cancer journey was 9 months I truly didn't know how to move on without my big sister, my hero. I started thinking about the Lance Armstrong Foundation and this bike ride I'd read about in Lance's book which was held each year in Austin to support people in their cancer journey. I decided I HAD to volunteer in the fight against this cruel disease and support others dealing with cancer. I summoned courage I had no idea was deep within me and in 2003 I traveled alone to Austin to volunteer at the Ride For the Roses! This has been a profound, life changing experience and continues to this day. I've met some of the most wise, strong, brave and wildly defiant people who simply refused to let cancer rule their lives. These people have changed me forever. I learned that we have to continue to be bold every single day...Sue, Jeanne & Lynn, Jere, Renee, Iram, Elizabeth, Dora, Joni, Blaine, Susie, Crystal, Doug, Ellen, Peggy, Miles, Bryn,Stephanie, Brianna, Francesca, Susan, Scott, Lance, Julie, Marye Beth, Eve, my dog Reggie, Eddie, Betty, Janis and so many others. I will join others in Austin to pass a rose into the hand of a Survivor as they cross the finish line. A victory moment!
Please join me in supporting people in their journey as the LIVESTRONG Foundation provides Support services.
THANK YOU AND LIVESTRONG, Linda Santos
In sweet memory of Robin Williams, friend of LIVESTRONG