Over the past years, I have seen firsthand how breast cancer affects women from all walks of life, including my late cousin in her 30’s, several friends, and the many patients I have come across while building the Pink Lotus Breast Center with my fantastic wife, Dr. Kristi Funk.
Sadly, even with a changing healthcare environment, there are still millions of uninsured women in our country, and many millions more who are insured but not covered for many lifesaving screening and treatment options. The Pink Lotus Foundation attacks this problem head on so that uninsured and underprivileged women can receive screening, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer at no cost to them. Via the Pink Lotus Foundation, these low income women receive the medical treatment they need and deserve, in many cases, providing life saving treatment.
I had already decided to make 2015 the year to launch the foundation into everything I had dreamed it to be, but what was I going to personally do to help all these women in need? The obvious thoughts of having a big event, a gala, an auction – they all crossed my mind. Yet, I really wanted to do something that was going to be different and affect a large number of women without spending 50% of the money raised on just the cost of the event alone. Vegas In 24 was born!
From the Pacific Ocean to Las Vegas – a long journey of 365 miles (just under 600km) on a bicycle through the middle of the desert – without help or assistance – and all in under 24 hours – no one has ever done it.
As an athlete who has completed many ultra marathons and Ironman triathlons, you may think that this would be an easy task. Trust me, it is not. Sitting in the saddle and cycling at high speeds for almost an entire day and night without rest or sleep is not really my idea of a good time – and I estimate it will take me more than 250 hours to train for this event. I love to cycle, but the thought of doing this event has been nerve-wracking to me – and that is exactly what excites me to do it.
A challenge that has never been attempted before; an endeavor that will require every last bit of my physicial energy and mental strength; an event that will create a lot of awareness and get people excited to support my journey; a cause that can raise a lot of money and help a lot of people. This is it!
Why make a commitment to do such a hard thing when there are easier ways? People with breast cancer suffer, both physically and mentally. By putting myself through this event, it’s my way of saying: I want to help you, I understand your pain, and you are not alone.
How many lives can I save by putting myself through this day? Just a single one would be enough reason to do it.
The clock has started ticking. I have about nine months to prepare my mind and body for this journey, and I am excited to share my experiences with you along the way as I travel down this uncertain road of doing something absolutely crazy.
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Thank you all for your generosity support!