Perry Reflects on Cycle and Being Fearless
Dave introduced me to Larry and Anne Zimmerman at a kick-off event for this year's Cycle for Survival back in the Fall. Larry and Anne are the parents of Perry Zimmerman, whose book report was featured here a few posts back. Perry is currently undergoing treatment at MSKCC for osteosarcoma and is an amazing example of being fearless! At this year's event, I felt very fortunate to get to meet Perry in person and tell her how special she was to me. I had emailed with her parents and thought of her often, but it was so meaningful to meet her. When I talked to her at the Cycle event, I asked her if she would consider writing a post for You Fearless, never imagining it would work for her busy schedule.
And then, just as I thought about how to reflect on the achievement of this year's Cycle for Survival on this site, the answer suddenly landed in my inbox. Perry not only had written a post - she had written a beautiful post.
And so I share with you here the reflections of a beautiful 11-year old girl on this year's Cycle for Survival:
This year Cycle for Survival meant a lot more than it usually does to me. Last year and our first year I was just a survivor, not that being a survivor doesn't mean anything, it means a lot. This year I am actually going through treatment for an osteosarcoma in my leg. Jen is truly an inspiration as I go through all this. Whenever I start getting the teeniest bit discouraged I just think what would Jen do if she were in this situation? And snap right out of it. This year while I am on the treatment I feel stronger, more fearless than ever before. I feel that being a cancer survivor is a big part of my identity. Cycle this year was truly amazing. I felt like there was more energy in the room for some reason.
We had a bunch of out of town friends come for the event so we had a big cocktail party the night before we rode. We had a few of my mom's college friends, and a few people my dad has known his whole life. The people my dad grew up with brought kids that I spend summers with in Maryland. Darryl the equinox spin instructor came to the party. Two of my parents friends, Andrea and Christine who visit me in the hospital a lot came also.
I got to present the check to my own doctor on Saturday. When I got to the gym to do it I got to hear about 45 minutes of a Darryl class. It was so cool. On Sunday when both of my parents were riding I stuck around for most of it and I have to say it was one of the best weekends of my life.
-Perry Zimmerman, age 11
I am sure you, like me, are struck by the bravery of this very special and talented girl. I will always cycle for Jen, but now I also am proud to ride for Perry and her bright future.
If you have a fearless story, please email me at email@example.com.
-Janet Balis Allen