THANK YOU my R2S Family & Friends!

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What to say? Where do I even begin?? Well, like I tried to say at our meeting on Friday night before our ride, in my squeaky voice, while desperately holding back an ugly cry...My R2S Family and Friends, I love all of you so much!! You are a group of exceptional human beings! You each hold a special place in my heart, and I will carry my experiences with each of you in my heart and in my life forever. You all give me purpose and a reason to continue to fight for myself, my kids and my life. You are all truly amazing! THANK YOU! As many of you know, I started this year as a member of the organizing committee and crew for ride day. I soon learned this was the final year of the Kelowna to Delta format, and knew in my heart I needed to do this, some how, some way. So, after a series of events, I was all set up to ride; I had now registered as a Hope to Delta rider, Eek! I set out on our training rides as a total beginner, not knowing even the slightest bit about a road bike, and terrified of those clips! I held back on the clips for a couple rides and then just dove in. Whew! I didn't die on my first go around with clips. Hey! maybe I can do this! Whoop! Whoop! I had made many great strides and many success' through our training rides.  Riding the most kilometers ever in my life, with that number growing each ride.  What an amazing feeling!

The universe however, had other plans for my actual role in R2S on ride day as I had slipped and fallen in the bathroom on one of our rest stops mother's day weekend (Happy Mother's Day to me..ugh haha). I soon had to make the gut wrenching decision that I would be unable to ride on ride day.  However, I am still able and going to crew at 110% for this amazing group of riders I had gotten to know on our training rides.

To all my fellow riders and crew members, THANK YOU! Thank you for allowing this extreme novice rider the opportunity to ride beside, in front and behind you.  Thank you for taking me under your wings and not only giving me plenty of tips, tricks, knowledge and skills, but for making me not only feel like part of the family, but for actually making me part of this crazy family!  Thank you for digging me out of the deep, dark hole when I questioned my abilities.  Thank you for reminding me to believe in myself.  Quite simply, Thank you for just being YOU!  I've said it a million times, and will say it a million more, you are all truly amazing, excpetional human beings!

The reason the riding was so important to me this year, is much like evryone else.  I was riding for my brother whom is an 11 year cancer survivor, for my kids whom I hope never have to face cancer head on.  As well, to show them what we can do physically, mentally and emotionally if we focus ourselves.  Most important and dear to my heart though, is for my dearest of friends in this entire world.  She quickly and tragically lost her husband, best friend, father of their two children and soul mate to cancer on February 14th, 2018 after being diagnosed on October 31st, 2017.  She drove out with another close friend whom had lost his wife in June of 2018 (they actually shared a room in palliative care) to Merritt at our rest stop to join us and see what the hype was all about that I have been talking about since last year's ride.  And then again in coldwater, I looked over and suddenly focused in on these figures and faces I knew outside of R2S. They were both blown away at what we do together.  They felt the energy, love and support from all of you.

Thank you to my R2S family for accepting my personal family (my kids and friends) with open arms.  Thank you for giving them the same love and support we give each other. 

This season, I have gained many great relationships.  Some will remain as just strava or fb buddies and some as lasting friendships.  I am eternally grateful to every single one of them.  I am a true believer in everything happens for a reason, just the same for the people in our lives.  The situations and people cross our paths in the moments we need them and for the reasons we need them.  As I have said many times, I love and cherish each and every one of you.  Thank you for an AMAZING Ride2Survive 2019.    

WE did amazing things this year!  WE raised over $1.1 Million dollars; Much love to all our gracious donors!  What an epic achievment! CHEERS to an incredible year!  

Next time you see me, I will be on that damn bike, just keep me away from the bathrooms in my cycling shoes!  LOL! 

Together, we are better. Together, we are stronger. Together, we have already kicked cancer's ass! 

It has truly been an honour and privilege to have you all in my life thus far, and to ride with you all.  I am truly blessed! Much love, respect and admiration to all of you!  Until next time...

Love always, Jaimie Gentles