I ride to give life to Children’s Hospital Colorado patients like my daughter, Alex.
Your child has cancer.
These are words I never would have thought I would ever hear as a parent. These are words you hope no one ever has to hear. But, yet I heard them spoken to me about my 9 year-old daughter.
My daughter, Alex, has always been a funny, free-spirited kid who loves to be creative and think outside the box. She is a lover of the outdoors and new adventures.
In the fall of 2019, after we spent a week in the beautiful Colorado mountains, Alex began to feel ill. It seemed to be the typical virus many kids come in contact with this time every year, so we were expecting it to last a couple days and then go away.
Unfortunately, the fever and lethargy she was experiencing turned into irregular breathing sounds late one night. I awoke her from her sleep and drove her to the emergency room at Children's Hospital. During the ride, she was very talkative, pleasant, and didn't have any complaints. This gave me hope she wasn't experiencing anything too serious. Once we both walked through the emergency room doors and the nurse checked her oxygen level, things changed very quickly for us.
Alex was transported to the main campus of Children's Hospital. A while later, we received the horrifying news that our sweet, funny 9-year old daughter had cancer.
Alex was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). She was placed on life support (ECMO) for 17 days after suffering from respiratory failure, sepsis, kidney injury, and several other health issues. The staff in the PICU were extremely caring, intelligent, diligent and determined to help our girl get better. After over a month of amazing care in both the PICU and on the oncology floor, our little girl was able to come home.
Alex continued to receive top notch care at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD) clinic where she received numerous chemotherapy treatments. Alex always enjoyed coming in to see the staff when she was there for chemotherapy treatments and/or regular check-ups. It was very evident, very quickly, that the staff in the CCBD clinic absolutely love to help and care for children with cancer.
Alex finished treatment in late January 2022 and celebrated by ringing the bell!
Today, Alex is still going in for regular check-ups every 4 months. When Alex walks through the front doors of the hospital her spirit lights up. She is always excited to visit and to catch up with her medical team and to put on some sort of entertaining show for them. She even refers to the staff as her "friends".
My kids and I volunteered in 2021 at the Courage Classic. We were so inspired by the strength and courage of the riders, that we decided we would make this year our first year to ride.
I am riding with the "Wheels of Justice" team. The money we raise is going specifically to the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. It is truly a place where the doctors and staff are not only working to keep kids alive, but also working hard to keep kids spirits alive.
Children's Hospital Colorado is not just any hospital, it is THE hospital that undoubtedly saved my child's life.
I will be riding for Alex and for the hope that Children's Hospital will continue to be able to give kids like Alex a second chance at life.