On Sunday, my daughter, Kelly, and my son-in-law, Mike, will participate in America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride, a 100-Mile event at Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
Veteran marathon runners, they have transitioned over to cycling for the past few months in preparation for this endurance ride. The hours of dedication, hard training, and sacrifice are admirable, but that pales in comparison to the real purpose of their effort.
Their real work has manifested itself in egg rolls, chocolate Easter egg creation, hot dog sales in front of the local Wal Mart, pay-per-view televised boxing bouts at their home, jewelry and yard sales. Hours spent on their bikes were matched by hours of fundraising.
Their ride has yet to begin, but their fundraising is complete. Their dedication to the cause has resulted in a donation of $7800 to Team in Training Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
Throughout the process, they focused their fundraising on a cause that was very close to home. Mike's mother, Millie Silvestrini, lost her battle to leukemia, so he and Kelly's fundraising was dedicated to 'Miles for Millie.'
Kelly began her marathon training by raising funds for Team in Training at the San Diego Marathon. She and Mike then raised money at the Chicago Marathon. In all, they have spent countless hours raising thousands upon thousands of dollars for a worthy cause. If one cancer patient can be saved, if the money given to research can bring us one step closer to a cure, their training and their fundraising efforts have not been in vain.
Their efforts, their dedication, and their selfless spirit is remarkable, and makes a dad very proud.