Thank you for coming to welcome me back to Chicago.
When I left on my journey nearly two months ago, I knew I would be pushed to my physical and emotional limits. And while the trip didn’t always go as I expected, I know I accomplished all I set out to–and more. When I rowed out of this harbor on June 15, my goal was to raise money and awareness for a cause very close to my heart. Over the course of two months more than $100k has been pledged to Recovery on water, a rowing team for breast cancer survivors that empowers women to take an active role in their health in the face of a devastating disease. The money we have raised and continue to raise will allow even more women to experience the healing power of exercise. Donations can still be made at row4row.org
On this journey, I experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I set out from this dock a different person that I return. But I am not broken by what happened to me. I still believe that there are more good people in the world than bad. I still believe that life is a gift, even when it’s scary and unfair. I still believe that life offers us the privilege, the opportunity, and the responsibility, to give something back, even when people try to take things away from us.
I undertook this trip on behalf of the women who inspire me everyday–members of the row team who have chemo in the morning and come to practice that night. Women who look cancer in the face and take its power back. They continue to be my strength and inspiration as I heal. I know that I am not alone.
I’d like to thank all of you for your interest in me and my story. There are many people who selflessly volunteered their time for me, and I especially want to thank Brenda Janish and Mark Carroll. It’s amazing to be home. Thank you all for your support.