Sandy Beardsley
Living with a Brain Tumor
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10/04/07
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,
Dan

5 Responses to “LiveStrong Challenge 2007”

  1. Joan Says:
    How great for you and Sandy’s Team to continue this great event. Showing not only your continued Love and support for Sandy but for this great fight to find the cure for many of Cancer’s fighters. You all are an inspiration. I can see Sandy’s smiling face in my mind and know she is so proud of all of you. Sending positive thoughts and prayers to you all!
  2. Leslie Brown Says:
    Dan - our thoughts were with you all last weekend. I knew that the weather was not the best but knew you would all be at your best - nothing would stop you. You, once again, are a true inspiration. Leslie
  3. carolyn hitchman (mom) Says:
    Dan–So great to have you here on the coast, tho time flew by. Fear that mom’s cooking didn’t add any meat on your bones so come back soon. Jim was most impressed by all the great “crewing” you did on Swansong. Love and hugs, Mom
  4. Susie Archuleta Says:
    Dan, I wish I could have been there but reading your beautiful writing makes me feel as though I was. I know Sandy was cheering you on. Live strong. Love, Susie
  5. HAM Says:
    Just checking in dear DanO. Thank you for keeping the blog up. I miss Sandy too, a part of her will walk with each of us, especially her smiling eyes when we’re laughing together. It’s snowing out the window today, soon we’ll have xc skiing here. She’ll want us all out on the boards. And she’ll want you eating holiday goodies. With love, your friend, HAM

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