Sandy Beardsley
Living with a Brain Tumor

October 2007
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LiveStrong Challenge 2007
Filed under: General
Posted by: Dan @ 9:39 pm

I just want to thank the Friends of Sandy team (including those who couldn’t make it but raised money), and all those who donated money through our team to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, for being a part of this year’s LiveStrong Challenge, and to my family and team members for braving the weather…

It says a lot about the thousands of participants who turned out to walk, run and ride bikes in extremely bad conditions — 48-degrees, high winds and pouring rain — putting into practice the words Live Strong. Almost 3,000 participants and 700 volunteers helped raise $1.7 million for the fight against cancer. Even more inspiring was the fact that most of the people participating were cancer survivors — like 10-year old Johan! We met again a few of the people we had connected with last year… such a powerful and loving community. I feel honored to be a part of it.

The spirit of the event shone even brighter through the grim weather. And Sandy’s smile was brighter as well — photos of her from last year’s challenge were displayed on a large video screen and on a poster in the middle of the event village at Nike headquarters. Seeing those photos again, and hearing from people how she still inspired them, was both overwhelming and motivating…

I rode 70 miles with Sandy’s brother Eric, and we had a great and nearly hypothermic ride by the end. We had planned to ride 100 miles but the organizers wisely eliminated what would have been a very dangerous 30 mile section that included a lot of elevation gain and a very steep twisty descent. As it was, 70 miles in those conditions felt like more than 100 anyway. But I felt good most of the ride — motivated to keep moving not only for warmth, but also to pound those pedals for Sandy. A few times during the ride I felt overwhelmed by the emotional intensity of the event and memories of Sandy at last year’s Challenge. Fortunately the driving rain masked my tears and then washed them away…

After the Challenge, we had a great 2-day family/team member reunion at my mom’s house on the Oregon coast… sailing in her husband Jim’s classic wood sailboat, hiking to a lighthouse and rocky capes with huge crashing waves, and long beach walks, and of course mom’s home cooking.

The ocean was again a powerful healing force… of my cold, very sore body,,, and my soul that feels Sandy’s presence and love for this place and this life… feeling blessed that I am here to soak it in — in all its grand and wild, wet and cold fury — and to keep trying to Live Strong like she did…

Good night,