Dear Friends and Family,
I am joining thousands of other cyclists on May 3, 2020 in The American Lung Association's Cycle the Seacoast to raise money to fight lung disease and increase awareness about the importance of lung health. This event is personal to me and I need your support.
Lung disease can take someone's breath away, leaving them unable to work, exercise or play. Growing faster than almost any other major illness, lung disease, including lung cancer, asthma and emphysema is the third leading cause of the death in the United States. I ride because thirty one years ago I lost my Dad, James Harlan Bryant to Metastatic Cancer of the Throat. Soon after a radical throat surgical procedure that was preceded by radiation treatments, it was determined that the Cancer spread to his Liver and Lungs. All of this was brought on by a lifetime of cigarette smoking. When I was a young boy and with my encouragement my Dad tried several times to quit but his addiction to cigarettes and tobacco was too strong. This May 2nd and the day before this event, is the first anniversery of the passing of my Son in-law, Steven Kauffman, who at 45 died from Brain Cancer. Two year's ago we lost my Daughter in-law and Steven's wife Cyndi to Cancer as well and smoking cigarettes played a big role in both of their lives. Both Steve and Cyndi knew the danger's the first day they lit up and both tried many times to quit but failed. So this whole campaign, just like the efforts I made last year, and the year before that are very personal to me. I don't want to see another member of my family or anyone else's family suffer from diseases and health problems caused by smoking.
We all know the danger's of second hand smoke and who among the non smokers hasn't experienced that. Sitting in the back seat with my Brother and with my Mother riding shotgun, my Dad would light up every time he got in the car. I too am a former smoker and I knew better but wanting to fit in and be one of the cool guys on campus I took up smoking. My favorite's were Camel lights and in a baby picture hanging on my wall the photographer put in my little hands a pack of Camels to occupy me while he took the pictures and no doubt he was smoking a cigarette while he took them. That's just to show how accepted the practice of smoking was by that time. When I began my teaching career back in 1983 you were allowed to smoke in your office and in college I had professor's light up in class while lecturing. The bottom line is we are all possible victims of lung disease because we've all been exposed. This is why the American Lung Association is fighting not just to keep people from ever lighting up and to quit smoking but also for Clean Air because we all need it to survive.
This will be my second year on this ride, and my sixth fundraising bike ride. Last year I raised nearly $3000.00 over the course of three rides for this worthy organization and I'd like to do even better this year. Your donation supports the American Lung Association's continued work to educate children and adults on the dangers of smoking and funds lifesaving research. The American Lung Association is also an important advocate for public policies that support lung health as well. Please join me in my efforts to make a difference by making a personal or corporate tax-deductible donation.
Thank you in advance for you support!