Guest post by Karen Tierney.
In 2000 my sister was diagnosed at the age of 27 with cancer, this was my first experience, she remains in recovery. I was torn, and although I am a Nursing professional I couldn't understand.
In 2006 I lost my very best childhood friend to ovarian cancer at the age of 36, leaving behind three young children, we were friends for 25 Years. My other best friend and partner in motherhood: someone who I raised children with left me 2 years later in 2008 from Lung cancer at the age of 41 We had dreams to go places and do things together when the children got older: we would laugh waiting for those days to come. But they never did.
Donna and Julie never got to live that dream with me. I was devastated and depressed. The two women in my life who were always by my side were both taken away from me. I was angry. I was telling this story to my friend Rick Spada who was riding PMC in 2008, and asked me to join him to start the healing process.
I was reluctant but trusted Rick with all my heart....
I started on Road Crew, in 2008 it was amazing, with Alan and Peter I learned the sacrifices made by the people who volunteer to make PMC successful: so that riders could safely make the journey to continue the fight against cancer.
I met so many people, and heard so many stories, people riding who kicked the disease, people riding and volunteering who still battled the disease.
In both 2014 and 2016 I became ill myself, but nothing was stopping my commitment, So I left Road Crew and was welcomed to the command post. I arrived at the 2014 PMC challenge with a PICC line and IV antibiotics to fulfill my promise to myself, and my sister and friends to kick this disease, and continue my healing journey.
When I arrived to Command I learned that my partner in crime on Road Crew Jeanne Marie had also lost her fight with cancer, I was struggling to keep going, but I found it just gave me more reason, more hope, and more strength, to continue on.
I continue to volunteer adding to my list of responsibilities each year, because I am giving back to everyone in this organization and all the riders who have helped me heal from my loss.
PMC will continue to raise money so that one day, we wont have to lose so many that we love....
PMC is giving back, and I am here for the long run.
Karen Tierney RN. Medical Crew Sturbridge/MMA Command