When I was 4 years old and in my kindergarten’s summer program, a beautiful girl named Chase joined and we became fast friends. Her skin was tanned like butterscotch and her wild sandy brown hair sat on her head like a halo. Her eyes were hazel and framed by the longest lashes I’d ever seen at that point in my short life. Chase had two missing front teeth, just like I did, and we couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. We played everyday she came to school and were inseparable, even during nap time. I hated when she wasn’t around–she’d be absent for days in a row. I asked her why she was gone so much and she explained to me that she was sick and had to go the doctor for special medicine and care. I told her I got sick all the time, especially in the winter. She told me it wasn’t that kind of sick, that she had something called Leukemia and that it never really went away. I didn’t know what Leukemia was, but I told her I hoped she got better soon so we could play more. She said she’d be fine one day and we went to play on the swings, never to talk about her sickness again.
I remember Chase missed a whole week and I was really sad. Then another week went by, so I asked the teacher where Chase was. Ms. Sandy looked at me and said that God didn’t want Chase to hurt anymore, so he took her to heaven to live with him. Not truly grasping the concept she was trying to convey to me, I said, “That’s nice of him. I’m really gonna miss her though.” She cried silently and rushed me off to go play.
Chase has stayed with me all these years: her smile, her eyes, the feel of our hands joined together as we skipped around the playground. She was the first friend I lost to cancer, my first friend in life. I raise money in her memory; I ride for her. Cycle for Survival is my battle cry, my part of the fight against all forms of cancer.
Please understand. Please help me fight. If you’d like to donate, please click here and know that you are appreciated. My team and I will ride hard and strong for you, your loved ones, and everyone affected by cancer in all its forms.