A Davis LIVESTRONG Challenge Story: Michael


Join Michael and Team LIVESTRONG at the LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis, June 23, 2013. Whether you run, ride or tri in 2013, just do it with Team LIVESTRONG. Visit www.teamlivestrong.org for more information.

My name is Michael Severi. I am from Folsom, CA and I will be riding in the Davis LIVESTRONG Challenge for my third year in a row.

How have you been affected by cancer?
My father (Mark Severi) died of cancer in 2010 at the age of 53. Many family members and those close to me have died from cancer, however my father’s had the largest impact on my life. He was, and still is my hero and my idol. The love, kindness, and work ethic he instilled in me will live on as a legacy in his honor. My father was not in the best of shape physically. His death at a young age really opened my eyes to get in better shape. My father became interested and involved in the LIVESTRONG Foundation. He read literature and told me stories about the foundation, and I too became interested. He wore the wristband until he died, to which I took off and placed on my arm following his last breath. I felt an immediate strength from his fight, which lasted 18 months. I purchased a bicycle, and began training for the LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis in 2011. I completed the 45-mile event, which at the time was the longest I had gone on a bike. In 2012, I completed my first 100-mile bike ride, which was an extremely emotional accomplishment. Since then I have continued to ride, and have become involved in Triathlon. I will be competing in my first half Ironman triathlon in July 2013, with hopes of a full Ironman in 2014. I would have never got to where I am today, physically/mentally, without my father’s lasting motivation, strength, work ethic, and the overall mindset to LIVESTRONG.

Michael and his dad

Michael and his dad

This will be my 3rd straight year participating in the event. My father’s 18-month fight with cancer motivated me to become more physically active, which in turn led me to getting into cycling. The 2011 LIVESTRONG Challenge Davis was my first organized cycling event, and since then I have become extremely involved in cycling and triathlon.

What does LIVESTRONG mean to you?
To me, LIVESTRONG is a mindset of motivation. The wristband to me is a symbol of this motivation. A symbol that my father wore on his wrist until he died. A symbol to never give up, and to stay in the fight. A symbol to remain fit, both mentally and physically. When a swim, run, or ride is getting too difficult or painful, I look at the wristband and think about how much pain and struggle my father, and so many other victims endure every day. I thank God for my strength and endurance, and fight through the pain. It is literally a motivating symbol to “live strong”.

Name one piece of advice you would give to someone affected by cancer.
With never having had cancer personally, I can only provide insight from an affected by-stander. Live life and love life to the fullest every day. Stay connected with your loved ones and always let them know how much they mean to you. Keep fighting and help those around you to fight. Remain physically fit and active to allow your body and mind to fight. Stay current with your doctor visits. Cancer is easier to fight the quicker it is discovered. Be there for your loved ones.

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