Rit Vik just finished a 4000 mile bicycle ride and he along with his compatriots dipped their bicycle tires in the Pacific Ocean. They rode for those who battle cancer and those who survive – “4K for Cancer.” Most young, students, or recent graduates and they ride for the experience and for the cause. Rit spoke about his mother who battled and eventually died from this horrible indiscriminate disease. She was his support system and he rode for her but on the anniversary of her death he was riding into the sunset somewhere across America and his teammates, all twenty five of them, surrounded him with love and let him ride as the sun went down on that day and then embraced him as he cried. They were all family at that moment; not just a family of bikers but a family with anyone who has battled, will battle, or who lost the battle with cancer.
Rit spoke with passion and compassion as did so many of these young people. Some will head off to college now, others to new jobs, and a few still search to find themselves. I couldn’t help but tear up as these young people talked about aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and one who survived a cancer scare. My family knows that pain and loss all to well. It is still fresh in many ways and the thought of riding 4000 wouldn’t even seem hard if you could take the hatred of that disease away. It is unfair.
Three churches will welcome them to Tillamook tonight: St. Peter’s ELCA, St. Alban’s Episcopal, and St. John’s UCC. They will feed them and take them into their homes for showers and sleep and soon they will be on their ways to new adventures. I feel more hopeful for my country tonight. I feel more hopeful for those who battle the terrible disease of cancer because they are those who share in the journey to make a difference.
Thank you Charles and Marcille and all the folks of Cape Meares, Oregon who had a pot luck lunch to welcome them and hear their stories. Thanks Rit for your courage and to the rest of your team for supporting you. Let the tears cry out to God and bring healing and hope.