She was Chris to everyone else, she was “Mamoo” to me. My grandmother loved me more than any human could love an other. She also loved CocaCola and the NYT crossword puzzle. When she died of lung cancer in 2001 at age 73,
I was so angry. She had been a smoker, but had quit long before her death. I asked myself time and time again: how did she not know, and why didn’t she quit sooner? It was hard for me to have sympathy when I believed she’d caused this.
In 2010, I joined the American Cancer Society’s Determination team to complete my first triathlon. I learned then that it was the ACS research, CPS1 (the Cancer Prevention Study #1), that we understood the link between lung cancer and smoking. That changed my anger into understanding the value of research, and funding that research.
I miss her so much, and am sad for all that she missed out on because she didn’t have good information, and when she did, it was too late.
She bought me my first bike. So it’s only fitting that I ride the last 280 miles of Isabella’s journey with her in celebration of the awareness she’s brought and in memory of my beloved Mamoo.