Jason Lowman – 4000milesofhope.com
To all of the Ride Board Members and Benefactors,
I want to first start off by saying thank you for your support with this crazy 4000 Miles of Hope project. Without you words of encouragement and trust in what I am trying to accomplish, this whole thing would have fallen apart some time ago.
While I have a big goal of raising $100k, I have come to realize that while it would be nice to hit that mark, money isn’t everything. It is about going out there and using your heart, hands and feet to make change happen. Anyone can help by “stroking a check” but it’s the individuals that put in the labor that gets things accomplished. Everyone that receives this email is one of those people. I am very thankful that I can call many of you friends when 3 years back, I didn’t know any of you.
As many of you know, October sends me packing to Norfolk, VA where I will be stationed on the very old USS Enterprise aircraft carrier. I will be submitting my officer package once I arrive which will hopefully bring me back to the Lowcountry for another 2 years. My wife, Katy and son, Ayden will be staying here in Charleston to wait on the outcome of the officer package.
Between now and then though, it’s just me and the open road. The ride is symbolic of one’s fight with cancer in every way. I will be in strange territory the entire way as is the case for the person who hears the words for the first time- “you have cancer.” Am I prepared for the ride? Can you really be prepared to be diagnosed with cancer? My answer is yes and no. I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve ridden 100 miles in a day before but never back to back to back…. over the course of two months. I am prepared in the sense of my strong faith and know that even though I will be pedaling alone, I will not be out there by myself.
The mountains and cross-winds symbolize the struggles that a patient goes through during their fight. This is where you dig deep, focus on the inner belief that no matter what comes your way, no matter how hard the mountain is or how bad chemo tears you up, that you will reach the top and that once again, you are not fighting this battle alone.
Once you concur the mountains and hit the downhill and the winds begin to push you ahead, you can go forward knowing that you have won the battle and have accomplished the unthinkable. Even though you know there will be other mountains in the future, you can know that you are capable of beating anything.
I will be relying on strangers to help me along my way across the country and the fight with cancer is no different. Your doctors and specialists start off as strangers. You might have to travel across the country to get the care that you need. Soon, you realize that these strangers are there for you. There to save your life. You begin trust in them and then these strangers become your friends.
Make opportunities to change the world, don’t just let the opportunities come to you….
I am also sending this email to unite everyone in one big email for my return back to Charleston in mid-August. I have already spoken to a few of you that are very interested in doing something special for my return home. I have spoken with Dawson and we have decided that the best place to end at is the Isle of Palms County Park as there is plenty of space and is ideal for children as well.
I am going to turn the planning for this over to my wife, Katy. A couple of things though that might be cool….
I would love to have as many people as possible ride in with me the last 10-20 miles. Everyone has been touched by cancer and I want everyone involved with this project because it is for them and their loved ones. Possibly even the motorcycle veterans might want to lead us in. Camp Happy Days- I would love to have some of the children pedal in for the last quarter mile or so.
Alix, maybe you could drop a hint to your buddy down the road and see if he might sing a couple of tunes….(or shoot me his address and I’ll write him a letter!).
I am carrying pictures across the country of peoples loved ones that have fought cancer- please shoot me an email today or tomorrow with a picture and a little bio so that I can include them in my journey as well.
Thank you again for everything. Please send your prayers for me and my family. This is not only going to be hard on me, but extremely hard on them as well.
All my best and God Bless,
p.s. website is being updated tonight to focus on the ride and not the spin marathon…