A few months ago, we ran a contest: who's your riding buddy and why? Anyone who rides knows that the company you keep on the bike matters, and it's a unique bond formed by things like pace, and sense of humor.
Jody and Lisa's entries stuck out. What brought them together off the bike was a matter of life and death and something neither one could forget when reunited on the bike years later. Here's their story, in their own words, submitted without the other knowing.
Jody is my riding partner. We have only been riding a short time together but we hit it off immediately. A little background on Jody: she has lost over 90 pounds in the past year and a half. She is a breast cancer survivor, and a beast on her bike. She only started riding road bikes in December. We met this spring as part of a women's cycling group. The first time we met she looked at me and said, "I know you." Long story short, I was her prep nurse who met and took her to surgery. She said "I'll never forget those eyes." She said I told her that I was going to take good care of her. She says at that point she felt a sense of relief about the surgery. So she is an inspiration to me, pushing me at all times on fun riding adventures. With her I feel our rides will always be fun and entertaining.
In 2007, I underwent a double mastectomy for breast cancer. I was 38 years old and scared out of my mind. The last two faces I remember before surgery were two pairs of eyes of scrub-covered OR nurses: one pair a deep brown, the other a sparkling blue. They reassured me I was going to be all right. I never saw them again, but they were right--margins were clear, and I was cancer free! The years passed, but I never forgot those kind, strong women, and wished I could thank them. Time passed, I married and had a child--and gained weight. My health was once again in jeopardy when I started a program sponsored by my insurance company--and it worked! I lost 90 pounds and began exercising. Last December, I bought a road bike. This summer, I joined a women's cycling group. One lady and I seemed to connect especially. One day during a group ride, I asked what her occupation was. She said she was a nurse. I looked at her carefully, and it all clicked. I asked whether she ever worked at the hospital OR with my surgeon during the timeframe of my surgery. She replied that indeed she had, and suddenly I found myself recognizing those sparkling blue eyes once again. I finally got to tell her just how much she had comforted me that day when I was so terrified. She was so grateful to hear she had helped someone just as she'd always prayed to do. A couple of weeks later, we rode 27 miles together in my first ever bike tour. I'm so happy to have Lisa Miller as my cycling partner. Not many people get to meet their angels, but I cycle with mine.