My father, Ramy Peled, was an incredible and extraordinary person, admired by everyone he met; he had an exuberant and optimistic personality. Tragedy fell on our family when in 2002 my father was diagnosed with an incurable and rare cancer of the stomach membrane. In Israel only 5 people are diagnosed with this type of cancer each year and the average lifespan is only a few months. My father was not ready to give up- and even during the most difficult periods, he did not lose hope, maintaining constant faith that he could overcome the disease. He bravely battled the disease, enduring several extensive surgeries and hospitalizations.
Sadly, after 8 long years of struggle, his body simply did not have any more power to go on and In January 2011 my father passed away.
You can imagine that after my father’s passing I went through a very hard time- unsure of how to move forward in a world without my father.
I felt the only way I could get out of the bad situation I was in and channel my despair into something positive was by undertaking a mental and physical challenge, and in the summer of 2011, I decided to bike solo across Europe, without any sort of predefined route, This journey took me 3 months through 6 countries and across more than 3000 miles.
Throughout the trip, I was surrounded by constant love and encouragement from my friends and family. However, what I found to be truly remarkable and unexpected was the warm and enthusiastic response of local residents who I met along the way. These strangers became fast friends, assisting me in completing my challenge.
As my journey through Europe came to a close, I felt – this can’t be the end! The strong feeling of accomplishment and help in overcoming my loss that the journey gave me couldn’t be kept to myself! I wanted to challenge myself again, but this time for a higher purpose with personal significance – something that would benefit the community.
I came back to Israel and started the BIKE FOR THE FIGHT project, with the objective being to bike across the USA from Los Angeles to New York(August 1st untill October 24th) to raise money for cancer research in Israel. During the bike ride, I will be passing through Jewish communities, summer camps, and major sporting events and by telling people my personal story I hope to encourage others to join my cause by donating money or joining a part of my trip across America.
It is important to mention that ALL the money that I will collect will be donated to the ICRF-the Israel Cancer Research Fund, an organization whose sole purpose is to support cancer research in Israel for the benefit of Israelis and all mankind. Since 1975 ICRF has donated more than $40 million to support innovative studies by Israeli scientists, with many lifesaving achievements being made in all fields of cancer research.
I’m currently working endlessly to make BIKE FOR THE FIGHT a truly huge success and the progress that has been made so far Is truly extraordinary. I have made strong partnerships and received a lot of help from organizations such as Macabi World Organization,(coordinating and helping plan events) Hillel(planning events on campuses)the Israeli Embassy(publicity in Israeli and American media) ELAL(flight tickets and publicity), Microsoft Israel(developing a BFF APP for smartphones) just to name a few. I have also met with President Shimon Peres and got his blessing for the project! My journey and fundraising efforts will commence with a bike trip in Israel where riders will kick-start the “Save A Life Day” events, hosted by the Rothschild Foundation on June 4th 2012.
I know my father is watching over me with this project, and knowing the man he was, he would say that if through his death and sacrifice other people will be saved from this horrible disease it was worth it. I hope you can find a way to take part in my journey and bring BIKE FOR THE FIGHT into your community.