My name is Graham Giovagnoli and I am a cancer killer.
Early 2010 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. I spent the following seven months serving as a professional pincushion and swimming in chemical cocktails. I ached, I moaned, I sighed, I cried. I wondered when my life would return to normal, and if I’d ever completely regain my mental and physical strength. However, I also smiled, sang, laughed and loved. No man is an island and without support, I don’t know if I’d be writing this letter to you. We learn a lot about ourselves when we’re forced to face our own mortality. We learn that we’re braver than we believe, stronger than we seem, and smarter than we think.
Now, I’ve got something to prove… to myself. I need to know that my physical and mental strength are not only back, but stronger than they were prior to diagnosis. Not willing to let my past illness define me, I need a monumental feat of strength to end this chapter, and simultaneously usher in a new one. On May 8th, 2011 I’ve decided to ride my bicycle from Chicago to the Panama Canal. 3,000 miles, 6 weeks, 8 countries.
For those of you who know me, you may be familiar with some of my past adventures. There is no doubt this one will bring just as much excitement, peril and amazement. The difference is, I’m inviting you to join me this time. I’ll be collecting stories on the road via picture, text and video and relating them through a series of digital postcards. You’ll be able to check in with me daily and find out where I am, who I’ve met and what I’ve become.
I ride for those who can’t. I ride so that others might feel inspiration. I ride to bring people in touch with the healing properties of gratitude. I ride because I have the power to do so.
With all your power, what would you do?