Below is a story from a TEAM LIVESTRONG member taking part in the LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis. There are three LIVESTRONG Challenges this year: Davis, Philly and Austin. We invite you to come out for these fantastic events Check out our website and sign up today!
What is your name and where are you from?
Collin Bruce. I was born in England but now live in Santa Clara CA.
In what event are you taking part?
LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis
What is your cancer story?
I have been lucky personally but have way too many friends and family that have been affected by this disease. I have lost two friends and a close family member to cancer. Both of my sisters, my wife?s grandmother and several friends are survivors, one of my best friends is currently in treatment and the sons and daughters of other friends are in treatment also.
Too many people to close to me for me not to notice!
What made you become a part of Team LIVESTRONG?
While I seem to have dodged cancer I did experience 3 heart attacks and subsequently had a quad by-pass. I am a very active person, some would say an adrenaline junkie, I was skydiving when I had heart attacks # 2 & #3 and still did more jumps that day and since. In 2009 after my heart attacks and surgery I participated in a skydiving event called ?Jump for the Cause? which was an event that supported Breast Cancer and the City of Hope and was a skydiving world record for the most women in a freefall formation, 185. I was there to participate in the men?s record set up to support the women?s endeavor and provide additional fundraising. The women made their record first, and the men followed their lead on the very next jump. The atmosphere surrounding the two records and the feeling of supporting such an important cause was truly incredible and inspiring.
Soon after, I bought my wife a bike for Christmas and she asked why I wasn?t getting one?.so I started riding. March 2010, one year after my heart attacks and surgery I did my first ?long? ride: a 50 mile event in northern CA and then I found LIVESTRONG and wanted to do that for the ride. Get fit, help my heart and raise money to support people in their fight against cancer at the same time- it all flowed together. I figured I could raise the $250 to become eligible but pretty soon I had $1,000 and then $2,000! Why didn?t I try harder and start earlier with my fund raising efforts? My friends were knocked out by what I was doing and wanted to help, we all realized we knew too many people with this dreadful disease.
So this year I am trying to raise more money and get people involved and started a team with some of my skydiving friends, we?re calling it Gravity and Gears (thanks Chris for the name!) Feel free to join our team and ride with us (or any other team- as long as you participate) or come jump with us at SkyDance Skydiving in Davis, we?d love to see you at either place.
What is your one piece of advice you would give to a cancer survivor in your situation?
I can?t comprehend what you must be living with on a day-to-day basis but I can relate to being scared and worried about what is happening to your body and the worries of if it letting you down or making you fell weak or desperate. There is a loss of control in some sense when you face a disease. Riding, skydiving, walking around Yosemite or on the beach, just not giving in to it are things that have helped me no matter what I thought I could or could not deal with. Find what works for you. If you look you will find a way to regain equilibrium and control, don?t stop looking.
I have one other special piece, having a partner who has stood by me and supported me when she has been terrified of what I have chosen to do to feel like I am in charge of my life. Her support has been my biggest blessing. Watching me jump out of planes, tear down hills at 45mph, ride 6 hours with my broken heart pounding, she?s put up with it all. As well as having the CHALLENGE and other things, having Morrigan beside me has also kept me all together. Find what makes you feel alive and, as Nike says ?just do it? because you can?.and find your Morrigan.