Why I Ride? I am proud to be riding to celebrate the miraculous journey of my mother, Nancy Richie Postishek! I am also riding in appreciation of her lung donor and in memory of my grandmothers, Helen Richie and Marjorie Postishek.
My beautiful Grammy Helen passed away at just 66 from lung cancer. My grandmother never smoked and her illness was dismissed as pneumonia for too long. Her diagnosis was late and her battle was short. She called me her “princess” and it hardly seems possible she has been gone 25 years already. Later that same year, emphysema and asthma claimed the life of my feisty Nanny Marjorie. These two women were brilliant combinations of strength, beauty, intelligence, and grace. Their presence in my adult life has always been desperately missed.
My mom, Nancy, has been a long-time fitness and health advocate. In 2013 we were shook by her breast cancer diagnosis. Shortly after what was thought to be successful treatment, she began to experience difficulty breathing. A CT scan in 2014 revealed what was believed to be lungs full of cancer. A biopsy later showed IPF and she was given 3-5 years to live. Her long and arduous battle is not for the faint of heart or spirit! By the grace of God and the generous gift of her donor, she is here today. On November 1, 2019 she underwent a bilateral lung transplant and has fought her way to recovery. Her journey is not and will not be without challenges. The faith and determination she has demonstrated – alongside my dad, Andy - inspires her extensive network of family and friends.
And why? Why is SHE on this ride? I am blessed to be the mother to two of her most significant reasons – her grandchildren. “Grams” and “Pops” have been staunch and loving supporters in all their pursuits and their biggest fans. We are so excited to have them back home and adventuring with us soon! We remain hopeful that Grams will be able to be at the finish line in Talkeetna in May. We continue to pray for the comfort of her donor’s family and hope someday they fully understand the magnitude of their gift.
I ride because I can. I can walk outside and inhale deeply. I can embrace this challenge. I can teach my sons the importance of clean air and healthy lungs. I can honor and celebrate these incredible women warriors in my life.