Many of the blog entries I’ve posted here are intended to share what I’ve learned, to help others when I can. 20 years ago this July, I was part of something special.At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, I was on a rowing team that won 6 Olympic medals; Canada set the rowing world on fire!When my rowing partner, Kathleen Heddle and I won our 3 gold medal – and a bronze the next day – we set a standard that has yet to be met by any Canadian Summer Olympian.

When we got home from the Olympics and traveled from coast to coast to coast, Canadians told us that they had been pulling for us. Were you screaming at your TV, dreaming our dreams and willing us to win Olympic Gold. This disease has effected too many friends/team mates and family members. The first day – Toronto to Hamilton was an effort!! That part of the event – hearing peoples stories – was incredible.

Did our win make you feel proud to be Canadian and inspired to try something that challenges you? Through my supporters – I was able to raise $23,475 – I am so grateful. Together, Deanah and I raised $26,675, we are so thankful. From the opening ceremony/start we had tears in our eyes.

I’m hoping that if this group would pull for us then, maybe can “pull” for us now. We heard stories of loved ones lost and battles won.

Cancer doesn’t care about your age or your fitness. Over 70 people, and their families helped me to recognize something special and more importantly achieve something special.

My father-in-law has recently beaten his 2 anniversary of something special – by doing something special. On July 11th and 12th, Deanah and I rode in the Ride to Conquer Cancer where over $17.3 million was raised for the Princes Margaret Cancer Centre.

It’s ambitious, but so is Olympic gold and conquering cancer; my goal is to raise ,000. My cardiovascular strength seems okay, but my strength??? This is one of the top 5 cancer research centres in the world.

Just as every stroke made a difference, so does every donation. It’s pretty simple, a friend asked me to join her team and the idea caught my imagination. As you know, my goal was to raise ,000 for cancer research; recognizing the 20th anniversary of the success of Canadian rowing at the Atlanta Olympics, particularly the 3rd Olympic Gold Medal that Kathleen Heddle and I won. Almost all flat and nice roads which lends to chatting and getting to hear peoples stories.

When the opportunity to ride in the 200km Ride to Conquer Cancer came along I knew that this was my opportunity.

Many of my teammates and my family – and yes, my teammates are like family to me – have been affected by cancer.

I’ve lost both of my grandmothers – one who inspired me to dream huge dreams and the other that I never had a chance to get to know — to cancer.

I’m not going to name them as it is there story to tell, but too many rowers that I know have had to fight –and I’m so fortunate to say – and beat cancer.