I was really looking forward to this week's episode. I had spent months training for this 69-mile bike ride in Napa. Mauricio was so busy with work he wasn't able to train that much. I knew he would be fine though, as he is an exceptional athlete. As much as I was looking forward to this adventure I was very nervous. We had the choice of doing 30 miles or 69. My husband felt we could handle the 69 and convinced me. I cannot tell you how many times I said to him, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!"
When my trainer Mari suggested the dreaded waxing, I did everything I could to get out of it, to no avail. I asked my daughter Alexia to be there with me because I knew we could at least laugh about it together. Alexia is always happy and smiling, and I thought she would be the perfect distraction. We did have a good laugh, but I don't know if I will ever live this one down.
Growing up, cancer was one of those things that I heard other people talk about. The word scared me, but I always thought, "Thank goodness I don't have to worry about that." Then in 1998 I lost my father to cancer. Four years later, I lost my mother to breast cancer. And that would prove to be only the beginning. Since losing my parents, I have lost an uncle and three half-siblings (my father had three children from a previous marriage, all whom lost their lives to cancer). Now, when I go to the doctor for my check-ups and fill out the paperwork, I feel like damaged goods. Being a mother makes me even more concerned. I not only want to make sure I keep my children healthy, but I need to be healthy to be here for them.
This is why I am so passionate in my fight against cancer. I hear too many stories of lives lost too soon, of families hearts' broken. Taking on a challenge like the ride in Napa helps me feel like I'm a part of this war against cancer. Raising money for research and for those suffering with cancer who can't afford treatment is very important to me. We were so proud we were the second highest fundraisers for the event, thanks to so many thoughtful donations.