Sarah Kettles, originally from Mansfield, Texas, lives in the San Francisco Bay area. She's a 2013 alumna of Texas 4000, a program that cultivates University of Texas student leaders in the fight against cancer through a 4,000-mile bike ride from Austin to Anchorage, Alaska.
Camping on the John Muir Trail in a secluded meadow overlooking the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I was joined by a woman who also had decided to call the meadow home for the night.
We shared dinner and hot chocolate, watched the alpine glow dance across the mountains and talked about our lives. I asked why she was spending a month to hike along for 211 miles. Her answer. "To take advantage of the time I have left."
She'd recently learned that her breast cancer treatments weren't working. She was choosing to take advantage of the one year of good health in front of her.
I didn't know it then, but her story was the driving force in my commitment to a 2017 Ironman® Triathlon, for her and for all the people in my life who've been affected by cancer.
I began my fight against cancer in 2013 when I rode with Texas 4000 and raised $330,000 with my teammates for cancer and support programs.
I've since been a member of Texas 4000's Grants Committee. During my second year, we decided to fund a seed grant for a promising research project at MD Anderson that lacked data to back it up. Texas 4000 was willing to take a chance, and two years later we received an astounding report. This research was on track to become a game-changer in targeted cancer treatments.
I'm registered for the Nov. 19 Ironman in Tempe, Arizona. I will swim 2.4 miles, ride 112 miles and run 26.2 miles to fight cancer. I'm raising $10,000 for MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program™ because I believe in research that pushes the envelope. The future of a world without cancer rests with researchers who are willing to take risks and try new things.
What's your Moon Shot™? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program™ is important to you.