Marc Ballesteros

Mike BallasterosI’ve always enjoyed a bike ride ever since I was a young boy riding along with my friends. But it was more of a second nature to me, being a young kid with his bike roaming the neighborhood. It was not until now, years after that first time I pedaled away, that my interest could take on a higher meaning, a much more meaningful and important purpose - This time, I’m riding for people’s lives.

On June 21-22, 2008, along with many men and women, I will be part of a 2-day major cycling event benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital, one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world. It is the inaugural bike ride that includes over 200-kilometres from Toronto to Niagara Falls. It will be a challenge in a number of ways, but with my bike, perseverance, and your generosity, it can be done!

I am riding for my wife, Elsa, who is a four-time breast cancer survivor. You wouldn’t know it when you see and talk to her because she’s a fun, loving and beautiful person, inside and out, very outgoing and with a real passion for life. She always looks after your best interest, often times before her own, even though she has been battling the disease since February 1996. When you’re stricken with this illness, your whole life is changed forever. You keep hoping and praying that someday there will be a cure to finally end this disease.

We thought she was cleared after five years but it came back in October 2002. Then again in September 2005. It was just three months later in December that same year that it was back again. Through her many surgeries and therapies, my wife remained a real fighter and I’m so very proud of her! We hope to see the end of this life-altering disease in our lifetime. My effort to ride for cancer is only a small effort compared to the challenges my wife has already endured over the years which have affected her both physically and emotionally.

This event will help fund the ongoing research to find a cure and is also my way of thanking the surgeons and support staff at The Princess Margaret who have cared for my wife and who are still continuing to care for her. 

The Ride event initially inspired me to make a single. As time went on, I got even more energized, and that I ended up making a full CD. The new “Riding My Bike” CD is a celebration of life through songs and music, directly inspired by the upcoming bike ride this summer. To buy this CD or for more information, please visit: www.marcb.net

I thank all the people who have been with us and helped us raise the funds to allow me to participate in this event. Someday, we’ll all be riding to a better tomorrow!
 

Reviewed: October 2013