Why We Ride
We ride for our friends and loved ones who suffer from lung cancer and all lung diseases. Let's make sure everyone can benefit from healthy lungs.
My name is Rick Willis , and this is why I make Every Mile Count
"Cancer has touched each and every one of us. For some, that becomes much more personal. My story is not short or simple. At age 27, cancer knocked on my door and took the life of my first wife and unborn son. Ann and Scott. My daughter, Jennifer, was only 3 when brain cancer began to take her mother. Ann fought tremendously and I watched as the life was being drained from her everyday throughout her battle. During her care, I noticed she would always light up when we went to radiology. That glint in her eyes--that cancer took--would always come back. It was at that point that I realized I also needed to change.
I was an engineer at the time and went back to school, specifically, in radiology. Today I am proud to be a CT tech, caring for those battling cancer. I hope to bring "that glint" in every one of my cancer patient's eyes. A few years ago, cancer came knocking at my door again. My daughter, now an adult, was told she had uterine cancer and she would need a hysterectomy to save her life. Jennifer and her husband would never have children of their own. I realized I would never be a grandpa but I am blessed to have my daughter in my life. Thankfully she is now cancer free.
Just before meeting my current wife, Jessica Litera Willis, her father was diagnosed with lung cancer. In July 2000, shortly after his diagnosis, cancer took Timothy Litera, a military veteran and a retired Alaska State Trooper. I was never blessed to meet Tim because I met Jessica in 2002. I'm riding in honor of Tim.
Our lives have often been changed many times by these three word phrases, "I love you," "I'm coming home," and "I'm with child." I ride so your life is never changed by these three words, "YOU HAVE CANCER."
My name is Chris Lindsey, and this is why I make Every Mile Count
"I ride to support clean air for all. As an air quality professional, I understand the impact how dirty air in our cities and industrial areas can affect people’s health and their abilities to enjoy the outdoors. The American Lung Association is committed to providing more awareness on these critical issues and to advocate for the health and well-being of us all. I commit to riding in the Challenge to support that mission by raising money to help fund this important work."
Chris currently serves on the American Lung Association in Alaska Leadership Board as well as on the Clean Air Challenge Ambassador Team.
My name is Julie Millington, and this is why I make Every Mile Count
The primary reason I ride is my lifelong issue with lung disease. I have had severe asthma since I was young, ignited by allergies. In my youth, ER visits, restricted activities and extended hospital stays were not unusual. However, as years passed, asthma drugs and my knowledge both improved! My daughter Jenny was diagnosed with asthma when she was young. In 1984 she attended American Lung Association’s first Champ Camp for kids. She continued her involvement and became a mentor in following years. (Many of my family members have had issues and I lost four cousins to lung cancer.)
Jenny and I carefully manage our asthma and we are able to be physically active. I am a member of a circuit training group; I walk miles each day and now am looking forward to playing golf and biking.
I have been involved with the American Lung Association for many years, and currently serve as Chair of the Alaska Leadership Board. I am participating in the Clean Air Challenge because I know when you cannot breathe, nothing else matters.