Today is Thanksgiving Number 56 for me and I am so, so thankful for many reasons.
I have a beautiful wife, and together we are doing what we can for everyone impacted by lung cancer. We have been fighting for this cause since Mom was diagnosed in 2011, and our goal is to raise and donate $1,000,000 in our lifetime to the Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and Lung Cancer Alliance. We are making progress and are approximately $180,000 of our way there!
I have a wonderful son who makes me proud every day. He is kind, hard-working and shares the need to fight for lung cancer patients. He worked for the Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation as a summer intern a few years ago, volunteers at their 5Ks in Philadelphia and is part of the planning committee for Ride Hard Breathe Easy.
I am thankful for my sister and four brothers who I know are always there for me. And they were all literally there with me in San Francisco when I finished the ride in October. Together, we have gotten stronger and closer after Mom and then Dad passed away, a testament to Mom and Dad and how they always emphasized and lived the importance of family.
I am thankful for Bonnie Addario, someone who inspires me every day to do my part to fight against lung cancer. Mom and Dad love Bonnie, with Dad always saying about Bonnie and her Foundations that “They are doing God’s work”. Bonnie has dedicated her last 14 years to fighting this terrible disease and is an inspiration to people all over the world.
I am thankful to the 100+ people who helped with every part of Ride Hard Breathe Easy for nine months. I simply don’t begin or complete this ride of a lifetime without you.
I am also thankful for the 22 people (Missy, Janet, Tom, Fred, Beth, Karen, Karen, Bridget, Barry, Jim, David, Pat, Denny, Tommy, Diana, Jeannine, Dan, Paul, Jack, Peggy, Maggie and Bill) who SAGged across this great country. And I am very thankful to the over 500 people who donated to Ride Hard Breathe Easy as we raised over $90,000. And there is still time to donate to Ride Hard Breathe Easy. Who knows, maybe we will get to $100,000 by the end of the year?
I am thankful that I work for SAP, a company whose vision is to “Help the world run better and improve people’s lives.” I have worked at SAP for over 24 years and their support, especially from John Burd, made it possible for me to ride.
I am thankful that Mom’s beloved Philadelphia Eagles are 9-1. She is smiling in heaven, cheering the team and encouraging the defense on every play to “Get him, Get Him!”. All Eagles fans are very thankful after pounding the Cowboys on Sunday night. Sorry, Cowboys fans, you have Jerry Jones and we have Carson Wentz. #FlyEaglesFly.
I am thankful for the people who will be part of Ride Hard Breathe Easy in 2018. Our goal is to raise $100,000 in 2018, and over the next month I will ask who wants to join us to fight the number one cancer killer in the world. You can be on a committee, you can ride, donate, cheer, whatever. If you want to help, there will be a place for you to help in a way that is meaningful to you. And together, we will have lots of fun and make RHBE grow and grow. As Mom said often, “Many Hands Make Light Work.”
And finally, I am thankful to have two parents who loved and cared so much. Every. Day. Along with Beth and Johnny, they are my two best friends. They inspire me to do what I can to be better, especially in what we do with Ride Hard Breathe Easy for all lung cancer patients.
So enjoy your Thanksgiving! And please join me, and the entire Ride Hard Breathe Easy team in 2018, as together, we continue to raise awareness and fund research for lung cancer in the memory of Kathleen Matthews.