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Donations to Martin's Ride benefit research at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. We use Duke's secure servers to process donations. Money goes directly to Duke. The Duke Cancer Center is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit so donations are tax deductible.

Even more valuable than tax deductibility is how your donation helps cure cancer in our lifetime (my story and I'm sticking to it :). 

Thanks,
Marty Smith
Founder, Martin's Ride

Martin

Long ago in a land far away I was driving between two distant points in the sales unit I managed for M&M/Mars. It was a long drive. About midway through my five hour drive I bent my head down and felt a shock go down my spine. I kept testing. Each time my head bent thirty degrees a small shock went with it. I pulled over and slept. "I'm just tired," I thought. I was experiencing L'Hermitte's sign usually associated with Multiple Sclerosis. Many painful tests later I was diagnosed with MS. I was thirty years old.

My relapsing/remitting MS has behaved except for one eye problem five years after discovering L'Hermitte's sign. Even doctors have a hard time knowing I have MS. Life proceeded. When I was forty eight, four years ago, I got a cold that wouldn't go away. I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. I had cancer making me a rare cancer / MS patient. 

Constant colds was the biggest problem from CLL for a few years. Then my counts spiked and before you could say "cure cancer" I was having chemotherapy (over two years ago now). For a few years after chemo even thinking about riding a bicycle was impossible. Life consisted of difficult conversations, draining treatments, waiting and seeing. Life wasn’t over. Life, at 48, was just beginning. Cancer treatment filled life with new meaning, value, experience, friends and a desire to live an adventurous dream.

Why are dreams so hard to realize? Cancer isn’t my first health challenge. Remitting MS, diagnosed at 30, made me determined to live dreams immediately. Life happens while you are doing other things. I didn’t listen to urgent telegrams someone was sending. Then people I didn’t know saved my life.

I wasn’t alone my first day of chemotherapy. Chemo patients, some weekly visitors, were seated around me. They watched over and saved my life; special strangers, great doctors, caring nurses and miracles of modern medicine created a desire to give back, to develop Martin’s Fund for asynchronous cancer research and to ride a bicycle from Durham to Santa Monica.

Kindness of strangers is critical once again. I need help, email subscriptions, information on rides for a cause, donations, and positive thoughts. Chances of having some cancer are about 1 in 2 for men slightly less for women, so cancer affects everyone. We cure cancer in our lifetime by insisting it be so, by setting a World Record for a trans-USA bicycle ride and by living dreams instead of ignoring them.

Thanks,
Martin Marty Smith,
Founder Martin's Ride

 * Stats from American Cancer Society (Cancer.org).

Read ScentTrail Marketing - random thoughts from a 30-year marketing career.

Ride

In college I rode a bicycle 100 miles from our home in Greenwich to Choate in Wallingford. I graduated from Choate in 1976. My first 100-mile ride took place several years after leaving Choate but before graduation from Vassar. Much of the trip was on the Post Road, old Route 1, a crowded, chaotic and dangerous road. I loved every minute of it. There was a gritty Zen purity closing out drivers and exhaust out and letting the joy of the moment in. During this ride thirty years ago I formed an idea, a long delayed dream, to ride across the United States. Dreams don’t lose currency. They are always there asking their silent questions. I’m discovering thirty-year old dreams bring new challenges, but that is as it should be. Author Diana Scharf Hunt says dreams are goals with deadlines. This dream now has a deadline and an army of supporters. Hope you can join Martins Ride online and on the road.

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