5 am. It was time to hit the road and begin my 3.5 hour ride down to Ladd, IL. Where the first official stop of the 2013 Destination X Ride just so happened to be. The Get Your Rear in Gear(GYRIG) Run/Walk. A big day and then some. To say I was excited would be an understatement.

I could not wait to meet the Colorectal Cancer Survivors whose faces I would be photographing for the FACEiT Project. I also looked forward to hearing and gathering their Survivorship stories.

I checked the weather to see what I would be riding into. It was a frrrosty one to say the least. It was in the low to mid 30’s. Brrrr indeed. Thankfully, I have  good riding gear and those heated grips on the bike. Heated liners would have been nice. Ha.

I was on the road for fifteen minutes and I happened to look down and notice that the ICE warning was lit up on the instrument panel. Not that I needed that to tell me that ice was a possibility.

Twas no big deal, nothing new to me. I’m from Wisconsin.

It was an absolutely beautiful morning. That helped keep me distracted from cold factor.

A half hour from the Illinois state line it started to rain. Nothing like a cold rain to keep your invigorated. Well, awake at least. It rained until just south of Rockford, IL.

Seventy or so miles later I was riding into Ladd. As I entered the GYRIG event, I could feel the energized vibe from the participants. I was so happy to be there.

I was directed to Lisa, the GYRIG National Representative, and she got me up to speed on the event and how things would play out. Thank you Lisa. I also met Kathy who is the local GYRIG in the Ladd area. She was very helpful as well. Kathy is also a Stage 3B colon cancer survivor. She would be participating in the FACEiT Project. Thank you Kathy. You did a great job.

The run had started and I was photographing up a storm. I absolutely loved the energy created by this wonderful event.

I then photographed the survivors, Richard and Kathy. They were great. Below are their FACEiT Project photos.

 

Richard

Richard. Stage 1 Colorectal Cancer. Diagnosed at 46. Illinois.

Kathy

Kathy. Stage 3B Colon Cancer. Diagnosed at 49. Illinois.

Now for some 2013 Get Your Rear in Gear/Ladd, IL photo documentation. Enjoy. I know I did.

Helmet Runners

Princess

Windshield Runners

Floating Runner

Yellow Shirts

Yellow Runners

Finish Line

Red Wagon

Princess Sisters

DUCATI Runner

Lisa and crew walking

Walkers

Windshield Runners

The Flag

Lisa

Bike and flag

There was also a bonus, to going to the GYRIG/Ladd, IL event. There is a 4.5 year old Desmoid Tumor Survivor who lives a half-hour from Ladd. I was so pleased that I was going to get the opportunity to meet Annabelle and her mother Julie. I photographed Annabelle for the FACEiT Project. Such a beautiful little Desmoid Tumor Warrior. Thank you so much Annabelle and mom for participating in the FACEiT Project. Take the time to read her Survivor story here.

Annabelle

Annabelle. Desmoid Tumor. Diagnosed at 2. Illinois.

So I had an amazing time in the Ladd/Ottawa, IL area. It was then time to ride back to Wisconsin. Twas a stormy ride home. And got pretty cold pulling into the home Wisconsin stretch. Thoughts of the days events kept me warm though.

I’m fired up for the rest of the ride. Try to keep up. It’s going to be a good one. Promise.

The me in the mirror

See you at the next Destination X Ride stop, Survivors.