6/26/2017 Update: The 2017 Gran Fondo was a success! I completed the 80-mile ride on a beautiful Saturday. There is still time to make a donation--thank you!
For the fourth straight year, I am riding in the MSU Gran Fondo to raise funds for skin cancer awareness, prevention, and research at the MSU College of Human Medicine. As a skin cancer survivor, I have skin in the game.
It's still hard to believe that I had skin cancer. I mean, I was only 39 when that spot on my forehead turned out to be basel cell carcinoma. Carcinoma. Cancer. Whoa.
Fortunately basal cell carcinoma is very treatable, and I had it completely removed without it spreading beyond the surface of my skin. Since that original diagnosis, I've had a few other suspicious moles and spots removed; I'm lucky that none of these were cancerous.
But not everyone is as lucky as I am.
And that's why I am riding 80 miles for skin cancer.
We both know there are a lot of causes out there all worthy of your support.
But skin cancer is something that is more common that you might expect. Consider:
- Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
- One person dies of melanoma every hour (every 52 minutes).
I'm proud to say that my fundraising totals have increased each year I've done this event. I'm really grateful for each of you that have supported me in the past--many of you have done it multiple times. And while it might seem like you just gave a few months ago (well, I suppose it was just a few months ago), the need is still very much there. And once again, I'll be waking up at 5 AM several mornings a week to hammer out a ride on my indoor trainer to be ready for this event.
This year, I'm setting an aggressive goal of $1500. I don't know if I'll reach that goal, but I do know that each donation and each word of support really FUELS MY RIDE.
I'd really appreciate your support with a tax-deductible donation. 100% of every dollar raised goes directly to support skin cancer awareness, prevention and research at MSU. I'm kicking the fundraising off with my own $50 donation.
Any amount you can give is valuable and important; together we can make a difference.
Follow me on Strava to view my progress: https://www.strava.com/athletes/mike_hoekstra