The Fireflies: For those who suffer… still.

Well, we’re at it again… preparing for another 6 day/550+ mile ride in support of those who are fighting cancer: the doctors, the survivors, the family members and the researchers.  Our group is called the Fireflies, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t start off by expressing my heartfelt gratitude for the support and love that we have already received.

For those who don’t know, my sister Lea was diagnosed with leukemia almost six years ago, and has survived an amazing array of treatments including a bone marrow transplant.  She literally went from a 32 year old carefree triathlete and newlywed, to a tactical survivor at war with her disease.  Over the years I’ve seen the physical and emotional toll that it has taken not only on Lea… but on her amazing husband, my mom and me.  She is now cancer free, but suffers from a variety of incredible medical challenges too personal to mention here, but suffice to say we fight constantly to keep her healthy, though her constant smile is never in jeopardy.

Back to my gratitude: many, many friends stepped up last year and this spring to support my efforts to complete my first The Fireflies West Ride down the coast of California and then The Fireflies Tour from Geneva, Switzerland to Cannes, France.  These rides have been an incredible life experience, and it has been an absolute joy to participate with so many dedicated people committed to raising awareness and money for survivors.  The rides were hard, beautiful and they affirmed my belief that the world is a better place when people do what they can, when they can.  That time is now.  We raised a tremendous amount of money, and as importantly, were able to add HUNDREDS of people to the bone marrow registry!  THANK YOU!

In the event I haven’t made it clear: I live with gratitude for being able to have so many wonderful people in my life; to cherish the health of my sister; and to have the opportunity to be part of a team like the Fireflies.  Thank you to my clients who tolerate my occasional absence, thanks to my donors who donate generously, and to my family who always encourages me to chase after my dreams.

This Friday, I’m leaving for another Fireflies Ride down the coast of California to raise money and awareness for leukemia and lymphoma survivors.  Specifically, we’re raising funds to support the City of Hope Hospital’s Hematology Oncology Center.  Our small group is a fusion of American and European riders from the advertising industry who are all dedicated to the cause.  We ride “for those who suffer” and appreciate all your thoughts and encouragement!

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED!!

1.)  Donate any amount possible directly to The City of Hope via this link (100% of donations go directly to City of Hope): http://www.fireflieswest.com/

2.)  Beginning this Friday, we leave San Francisco for a 6 day ride down the coast of California.  Though I always ride for my big sister Lea and her ongoing battle with this awful disease and the aftermath of her bone marrow transplant, once again, I’ll be dedicating a part of each day’s ride to a cancer survivor that YOU tell me about.  Just email directly HERE or leave a comment & send me their name etc.  You can also contact us via Twitter or Facebook.  We know there are cancer survivors out there, and we want them to know that we’re in the fight with them.  There is power in Unity. It may be a really steep climb, it may be the day when my legs are exhausted from the hundreds of miles I did days before, or the incredible view from Big Sur overlooking the Pacific Ocean… but connecting with survivors will motivate me to keep going, to tell their story, and hopefully to remind them that they’re not alone.

3.)  Follow our progress on Twitter: brianwedge  Want to meet us on the road with hand painted signs?  DO IT.  Want to see us climb the canyons of your home town?  DO IT.  Want to hear hourly updates about what part of my body hurts and what form of food I’m most craving at that moment? DO IT!  In all seriousness, there will be some tough days coming up, and we would love to have some some support along the way.  Twitter is great for real time communication:  Bring your bike to ride along or don’t bring your bike… just get involved!  (Disclaimer: specific ride routes may change and sweaty athletes may not be able to stop for very long, but smiles and appreciation will always be shown).

4.)  The fourth way you could help, is to go find a friend who hasn’t yet registered for the bone marrow registry and get them committed to signing up.  It breaks my heart to see people literally dying without a proper donor match… often because the public just doesn’t realize how EASY and FREE registration and donation is.  You can go HERE for the link to all the information, and the FREE registration process.

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  • September 21, 2011 - 5:23 pm

    Lea Morrison - I would not be alive without the outside research, funding, and advancement of groups like the fireflies. I just wouldn’t and I know that. Please, consider donating, give blood, become a donor. Tammy saved my life by donating to a complete stranger (me) and my friends and family have helped me to continue to live through it and the many physical and emotional challenges! Grateful and yet sad there are so many warriors we have lost along the way or never had a match (chance) to begin with. Go Bri and go Fireflies- you are changing the world and lives!ReplyCancel

  • September 21, 2011 - 5:26 pm

    Robin - What an inspiring photographer and person and brother you are! I am amazed at the way you have such a range and diverse way of being involved and telling the human tale of life.ReplyCancel

  • October 31, 2011 - 11:56 am

    Lea Morrison: A Winner on Many Levels - […] marrow donor, or making a donation to groups such as LLS or Fireflies West (whom Lea’s brother, Brian, is a part of). Filed Under: Making change, Patient experience Tagged With: Advocacy, […]ReplyCancel

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