Today was a wonderful day, I was privileged to ride with Paul Balthazard, a fellow transplant recipient, and a big supporter of HMR.
We (Paul, Serge and I) spent the morning in Burgundy riding from Beaune to Nuits St-Georges and tasting great wines (this fund-raising is a tough business). We stopped at Domaine Meuneveaux, a 6 hectare winery in Aloxe Corton and were shown around by Mme Meuneveaux, who operates the winery (which had been purchased by her husband's grandfather after the war) with her husband. The property, including old cellars beneath the house, is wonderful, as was the wine we copiously tasted, at 10,30 in the morning (which reminds me to ask a question: under French law is it illegal to ride a bike with excessive alcohol in your blood?)
After our wine tasting (actually drinking!) we cycled (actually zig zagged) during the afternoon to Dole. It was cool and windy, we did 80k, the last 10 into a pretty fierce wind. I just passed the 1000 km mark for the trip - only 2000 left to go. I feel strong, the ride is going well, and as a result of a lot of hard work by Sandra, the hospital's press relations rep in Paris, we are getting a lot of good press in France. Paul and I just gave an interview to the local paper in Dole (Le Progres). It will be published Wednesday, and will be on the internet - I will post the link. Tomorrow I'm on French radio. I hope all of this is raising awareness and donations.
We arrived late this afternoon in Dole, a small city on the Canal du Rhone, and the birth place of Pasteur (but they still eat delicious raw milk cheese - go figure). Tonight we are staying at Le Chaumiere, a delightful small hotel run by Joel Cesari and his wife. He is a wonderful chef who among other things worked in Montreal at Tokai and La Chronique - needless to say dinner was fabulous - so good in fact we may need to do a few more kms tomorrow. I don't know what has been tougher on the trip so far, the biking or recovering from the great food and wine.
Boy, is it ever great to be alive.
Please donate generously (using the link above) so even more people can say this.
Ten years ago I was diagnosed with acute leukemia. I was 49 years old, with a wonderful wife and two adorable children, many fulfilling interests, and a great career, In short, a charmed life. From one day to the next, I was thrown into a battle of life and death.
Thanks to the wonders of science, the help of devoted, caring and skilled doctors and nurses, and a bone marrow transplant (from my brother) I survived. More importantly, through the experience of my illness and recovery, I have grown and flourished.
To celebrate my recovery, and all those without whom it would have been impossible, I cycled across Europe in April and May 2010, and the blog of my trip is at www.acelebrationoflife.blogspot.com.
In 2012 I published Portraits of Hope, see www.portraitsofhope.ca.
This year, to mark the 10th anniversary of my reciverywe established the Maryse and William Brock Chair in Applied Research into Stem Cell Transplantation.
Together we can beat leukemia.