Trek 100*: Not 100 Miles, Still a Great Cause
Tomorrow, I’m doing the Trek 100 for the MACC Fund.
Okay, full disclosure, I’m not doing 100 miles or even 100 kilometers. Tomorrow, I’ll meet up with a few friends to squeeze in a couple of hours in the woods. For years, a two or two and a half-hour ride on a Saturday would be relatively run-of-the-mill. Not so long ago, even 100 miles on a Saturday would only be a slightly bigger weekend ride than normal.
Priorities change. Now, I’m usually itching to get home at the two-hour mark so that I can see my nine-month-old daughter and play. Working as much as I do and trying to balance spending time with the family and putting in some time on the bike has been about as eye-opening as any aspect of being a father. I have a completely renewed and profound sense of admiration and respect for my friends that are fathers and mothers who still do all the things they find time to squeeze into the day.
While it won’t be 100 miles, the Trek 100 means more than a normal ride simply for the cause that it supports. Like Less Cancer, the MACC Fund has ambitious goals in battle childhood cancer and cancer-related blood disorders. The MACC Fund has now raised $65 million since it was formally founded in 1976. Since then, the organization has played a vital role in increasing childhood cancer survival rates from 20% back in 1976 to 80%.
It is heartbreaking to think about any parent having to absorb a cancer diagnosis, watch their child go through treatment, and possibly lose their fight against the disease. As tragic as it is, that is the painful reality for too many Americans. Each day, 43 kids are diagnosed with cancer, and cancer remains the number one cause of death among children.
It needs more support, too. Of the $6.56 billion invested into the National Cancer Institute by the federal government, just 4% is spent researching child-specific cancer types. That leaves millions of American children at risk of slow or inaccurate diagnosis and treatment options that may not be designed to combat their specific type of cancer effectively.
This year, the MACC Fund is looking to raise over $1,000,000 to fight childhood cancer and put a dent into the budget shortfalls facing childhood cancer researchers. If it makes sense for you, consider making a small donation to support my ride and the efforts of our Bell’s Iceman Cometh Challenge team as a part of the Trek 100 here in Traverse City, Michigan.
It’s not about putting in the most miles or going the fastest anymore. For me, and for many riders, it’s about appreciating our simple, beautiful sport and getting back in time to enjoy time with the people we care about. With events like the Trek 100 and the Less Cancer Bike Ride, we have the opportunity to combine riding bikes with doing something for the people we care about and for those who could be in a fight for their lives.