#WhyIPMC guest blog by Elaine Gremila, 28-year rider
My 28 year journey with the PMC began for my love of biking and the challenge of it.
I remember my 1st year riding coming up to a little boy trying so hard to high five the riders as they passed by him. I slowed down and touched his tiny hand and as I passed him he excitedly said to his mother "I touched one!" Tears filled my eyes and I knew at that very moment that this event had changed my life forever.
However I actually had no idea how much it truly would change my life in ways that I never imagined.
Cancer unwelcoming came to too many people that I loved . Close friends and cousins, would be affected and even taken away by cancer. Knowing that participating in this amazing event could give hope to these people that I loved was both gratifying and comforting at the same time. Being able to give back is the most amazing part of this journey.
But the closest to home and to my heart for me was when my twin brother Michael was diagnosed with colon cancer at 50 and would loose his battle at 52. I felt so much anger that I found myself not even wanting to ride anymore. My anger consumed me and I wasn't comfortable with who I became. I realized that I needed to put my anger into continuing his fight. I knew in my heart that it was what he would want. Michael was the kindest and most giving man I have ever known. He taught me how to be strong and to appreciate life.
So my journey truly became a commitment to and for him. I'm not sure where I would be without the experiences I have had through the PMC or how I would have survived losing my brother to cancer without them. Losing a twin is like losing a part of yourself, we were connected and every time I ride I feel his strength and I know in my heart he is with me. His battle has become our battle and together we will ride as long as we are able. Being a part of the PMC makes us whole again and for that I am forever grateful.
The PMC has taught me that together we can make a difference and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that being a part of it makes us all better people!