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S: Team VICtory * Victoria's Breast Friends * Prouty 2011

FC: Team VICtory Victoria's Breast Friends The Prouty July 9, 2011

3: Community is the greatest gift. To be a part of something bigger than ourselves, to be alive in the joy of making a difference. The Prouty is one of those rare expressions of people who care about something really important, doing what they can to make a difference. It sounds crazy to say it, but I thanked Victoria at the Prouty for having cancer, and she laughed because she got what I was saying. I wouldn’t have ridden in the Prouty this year if she didn’t. It would have been like other years. I would have said, “Oh that’s today? I should do that next year.” Again. Instead, because I care about my friend I got off my butt and got involved with this really great group of people who also got involved. I started riding my bike to work because I feared failing in the 50. I love my ride to work! I made a difference, and I am very thankful for that gift. And I am proud of us all, and proud to be friends with Victoria and Tom, with this team, and with everyone who rode, walked, rowed, volunteered, sponsored and organized. We are a community--getting off our butts and living better for it. Next year I’m riding the 100. For Victory! -Mike

4: It was a great day to celebrate the best friend and wife a man could love. | ‘Cause to know you is to know love And to know love is to know enough To walk with you through this life From now until the day I die ‘Cause what better way is there to live than to live with you - LBT Love Tom

5: I have nothing but great thoughts about Team Victory! When Victoria asked me what I thought about her starting this team and if I would be part of it I didn’t take a second to blurt out “YES – this is great!” I feel lucky to know and be friends with such a wonderful, strong, powerful women such as Vic. I hope that the spirit of our team lasts throughout the year and extends beyond The Prouty. While the ride was fabulous (even the hills) what’s even greater to me is the spirit of so many people standing behind our good friend! This is something that I personally will treasure. -Hope

6: 2011 Prouty day was virtually perfect in every respect. This year I walked to honor my friend, colleague and cancer survivor Victoria McCandless, and also my wife Lorelei McKinnon, another cancer survivor – it’s been almost ten years since Lorelei’s last treatment and she remains robust and cancer-free. Over the last few years, many family members and friends have been touched by cancer, so I also walked in memory of my late sister-in-law Gayle Duggar Olsen, my late mother-in-law Kathy McKinnon, and my dear friends Skip Matthews, Susan Harp and Megan Yannie. Megan was just 50 when she passed away in March this year, leaving two sons, among other family members, and many, many friends. I also walked for all members of the Head & Neck Cancer Support Group at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. I have been so incredibly inspired by all of these people. So it was with a combination of sadness for loss, gratitude for lives saved, and also with great hope for the future of cancer research at Norris Cotton Cancer Center that I participated in this year’s Prouty. -Rolf

7: "Her eyes sparkle Her smile is a glow Yet, there's something that you'd never know~ This brave soul has had quite the challenging year Through pink cast for a broken arm And tasks to kick CANCER's non-whitty charm~ Yet, she's the one spreading the cheer Friends...The Prouty is here! She picks up her bike, and heads out on her way facing a race to help others live their next day. She crosses the finish line And shows us all That through support, faith and laughter Another VICtorious day calls! Peace to you my friend! -Peace, Love, Laugh Dwayna

8: Throughout the past year, this quote ran through my mind quite often. Your strength and determination to beat cancer was simply amazing. I was honored to be a member of Team VICtory. And, crossing the finish line with you was a moment I will remember forever. I'm already looking forward to next year. Go Team VICtory! -Colleen | "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."

12: "Real men wear pink." -Cyclist passing Team VICtory on Prouty day

13: Overheard from someone sitting at our table at lunch after the ride: “I had to take off those biking shorts right when I got back..I don’t know if you noticed, but they’re not very flattering.” Jane sending texts that she was 40 miles out, 20 miles out, 10 miles out so we could be sure to greet her at the finish line. Someone riding behind/passing Chris and I said, “Victoria is a lucky lady!” in response to reading the back of our jerseys “Victoria’s Breast Friends." We had so many compliments on the jerseys! -Paula

14: Sometimes Little Kids Slow You Down Since the 50 mile ride passed through Orford, Jen said she’d bring the kids to cheer on Rte. 10. I know how difficult waiting can be for the kids, so I brought my phone along and tried to give her a solid ETA for me crossing the bridge from Fairlee. “Okay, we took the team picture, and we’re just leaving now.” “I’m at the Lyme sag stop, should be there in a half hour.” | When I called from the Fairlee sag stop, she hadn’t yet gotten the kids in the van. “No worries, this is not a race, it’s a ride. Take your time. I’ll just hang out here, drink some Gatorade and talk to people. Call me when you’re ready and I’ll ride over the bridge.” I’m sure it was only five or ten minutes, but in that time I managed to find Ryan, Dave and Mike, introduced myself to Mark’s daughter Elise, and got several compliments on my Team VICtory jersey. Soon enough, I got the call from Jen and got back in the saddle.

15: Go Prouty! Having crossed the thousand dollar mark in my fundraising, I was super excited to be able to cash in my Prouty points for a cool Prouty cycling jersey. After successfully completing the 50 mile Prouty ride with absolutely no training or preparation, I felt invincible. So the following weekend, just for the heck of it, I did a triathlon in Fairlee. I swam in a wetsuit, but donned my new Prouty jersey for the 25 mile bike and 6 mile run. Nobody noticed my race number that day. To cheer me on, most spectators and fellow runners simply shouted “Go Prouty!” | Across the bridge, left on Rte. 10, and there was Jen with an awesome homemade Go Team VICtory sign, Emmett and Molly dressed in their summer best, and a purple bubble machine. Dave, Ryan and I were greeted with shouts of “Go Team Victowy” and “Yay Daddy!” Awesome. Dave and Ryan rode ahead and I stayed to chat for a few minutes. Fast forward a bit I probably spent 30 minutes at the Bradford stop. I did chat with team members and get something to eat, of course. But I also got several more compliments on the jersey, and even had a photographer ask to take a few pictures. Then when I thought I was ready to go, I heard “Go Team Victowy!” I turned around to see the Jen and the kids again This time with cowbells! Brilliant. I saw them only one more time on the course, driving by my left shoulder coming south on Rte. 5. With windows down, I could hear “Hi Daddy,” “Is Daddy riding his bike?” and, of course “Go Team Victowy!” The Chieftain Motor Inn may have had a band. But if there was a Prouty spectator award, I think Jen would be the runaway favorite. -Mike

16: Love Those Pink Polka-Dots We moved to the Upper Valley from New York City last May, and I first heard about the Prouty last year. I thought it was a great cause, but it became really relevant for me this year with my mother going through chemo. So when my husband Mike came home and told me that he’d joined Team VICtory, I was extremely proud of him. Then when he told me about Victoria, and how she was amazing and positive through her battle, it helped turn my outlook a little more positive on my mom’s struggle. You should also probably know that I’m very girly and I love pink. So imagine my delight when my husband came home with a big pink polka-dotted jersey. I thought to myself, “I can really get into rooting for this team.” We joined Mike the night before the Prouty and finally had the opportunity to meet Victoria. Lovely, confident and strong. It was an absolute pleasure, and I was even more proud that my husband was backing her and part of such a wonderful team. Throughout the day of the Prouty, we rooted the team on whenever we saw those unmistakable pink polka-dots, and the kids and I had a fantastic time. The kids loved yelling for “Team Victowy” and we ended the day with a swell of positive emotion. Victoria, thank you for letting us share in your journey. We’ll always remember this day. Even though we didn’t all wear polka dots, our whole family felt like part of the team. Go Team Victowy! -Jennifer

17: Victoria- I was so proud to be part of Team VICtory. You are an inspiration to me and all of those around you. I have admired your strength, determination and your will to fight for your life! Can't wait to proudly ride for you next year! Love, Jo-Anne (aka JoJo) | Life has no smooth road for any of us; and in the bracing atmosphere of a high aim the very roughness stimulates the climber to steadier steps, till the legend, over steep ways to the stars, fulfills itself. -W. C. Doane

18: I felt honored to be on Team VICtory. What a wonderful group of people who came together to honor the strength and courage of Victoria. Victoria is an amazing woman who showed us all the strength and courage she has to get through this horrible disease. One always wishes they could do more for someone going through this, having been a part of this team and being able to ride in the Prouty made me very proud to know everyone on the team. Thanks Tom, Victoria and Sophie for letting me spend time with you all at your beautiful house, for the wonderful chats and for the awesome kisses from Sophie. I have been participating in the Prouty for over 20 years, but this one was one of, if not the most memorable one of all. I look forward to riding with this team again. We were fortunate to have a beautiful summer day for the ride - YEAH TEAM VICtory! Thanks for the wonderful day and memories. -Marcia

19: Chieftain Hill Cheer: BURRITO! BURRITO! BURRITO! -Chris | Chieftain Hill This hill is a buster, Strength you must muster To fight against cancer You ARE the answer Show your defiance Through Love (and Good Science) And help make the world A Cancer-Free Zone! Thank you! Prouty ON!

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  • By: Colleen M.
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