A break from my normal tech-related posts.
In September, I will participating for the second time in the Pedal the Cause bicycle ride in St. Louis. This great event raises money for cancer research at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis.
I filled out my rider profile in late June and dedicated my ride to Zac Epplin, my brother-in-law’s nephew. In other words, he is part of my family. Little did I know that on July 1, we would receive news that would make this ride much more personal for me.
Zac was diagnosed in August 2013 after noticing a lump on his side during a soccer practice. Zac’s team went on to win the state championship that year, and despite having just gone through several rounds of chemotherapy, Zac took the opening kickoff of their championship match, even though he could barely stand, let alone walk or run on the soccer field. His teammates wanted him there.
Here’s a story the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran on Zac during the tournament run.
The community rallied behind Zac, holding several fund raising events to help out with his care. My brother-in-law told me that these events weren’t so much about the money, they were about hope. Each time the community came together, it gave Zac hope. That hope gave Zac strength to keep fighting and to live his life beating cancer. Stuart Scott of ESPN said, “you beat cancer by how you live while you live.” That’s exactly what Zac did.
On July 1st, Zac’s battle with Ewing Sarcoma ended. He was only 19 years old. The Belleville News-Democrat published a great article about him with quotes from his soccer coach and teammates.
So, I am asking all of you to share this post and consider donating to me on my ride, donating to some other cancer charity, or doing anything you can to give cancer patients hope. If you share this, please use the hashtag #ZRideForHope. I’d like nothing more than to see this go viral, so that his family knows that even though Zac’s battle is over, the message of hope will not stop and we will all do what we can to find a cure.
You can donate to Pedal the Cause here. 100% of your donation goes to cancer research.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13, Zac’s “watch words” during his battle.