Molly is a senior at the Johns Hopkins University. In the summer of 2012 she is riding with a group of college students on a 70 day, 4000+ mile bike ride from Baltimore to Seattle.
What is your connection with the cancer community?
Cancer has touched, altered, or ended the lives of countless people in my extended family and community. My grandfather, a lifelong smoker who I loved dearly, died of lung cancer. My aunt is in remission from lymphoma. A friend from high school also battled lymphoma last year. My neighbor of 20 years passed away due to pancreatic cancer. Listing off these connections does not remotely encompass the struggles these amazing people went through, their resolve in the face of fear and pain, and the ripple effect of this disease in the minds and hearts of the people who care about them. The preciousness and fragility of life have become so much more immediate for me the more I have felt the repercussions of this disease all around me. I have had to choose words to say to a dying person. I have had to tell them how fondly I would remember the little ways they made my life bright. These things changed me, and cemented my understanding that love and hope are essential weapons in the battle against cancer.
Why are you riding the 4K for Cancer?
Like everyone around me, I am striving to follow a path that will bring me happiness and success. Yet one elementary fact has continued to reaffirm itself for me: life’s meaning lies in service to others. There are no greater gifts than love and time. I understand that my participation on the 4K would signify a small contribution to the battle against cancer, but by devoting those two simple things, I know I would be doing right. I have been so lucky to have good health and a full life, and pledging my support to the cancer community is the least I can do in return for the blessings I have been granted. It will be a difficult journey in both the figurative and literal senses, undoubtedly testing my grit and will to persevere onward. But connecting with cancer patients and their families, raising funds for treatment and research, and paying a humble homage to their unfathomable strength is a challenge I feel compelled to undertake. There is no better time than right now to step forward and be the person I wish, and have always wished, to be. This is my hour to prove that I care, that aiding however I can in the struggle against this vicious disease is an important mission to me. If I can instill hope in even a single heart along the way, then I will have succeeded.