This Is Why - An Introduction
Team I Hate Cancer had zero teammates on the roster. In 2006, when we decided to make an impact in the cancer community, it was just two brothers in their twenties, blindly attempting to raise money and help people. We had no idea what we were doing (some days, we still feel like we don’t) but we knew one thing: there was a Team out there.
“The Walsh Bros present I Hate Cancer Ride & Run” wasn’t the most concise title in hindsight. When the first non-Walsh-Bro wanted to be a part of things we decided we might need to pivot and Team I Hate Cancer was born. What became immediately clear was how big our Team was. In 2010, when we printed our first t-shirts for our supporters, we saw firsthand the impact we were making. It was routine for people to read our shirts in line at the grocery store and without any small talk jump into their cancer story, or simply smile and whisper, “I hate cancer too”. The first few times, it really caught us off guard. Then there was a certain pride. A certain puff-out-your-chest-so-your-shirt-could-be-read feeling. A certain sense of camaraderie.
When we finally ditched our original moniker and adopted “Team I Hate Cancer” across the board, the interactions became bolder, just like our shirts. “I hate cancer too” was yelled to us in passing at Wawas. With our cycling and running teams putting in thousands of miles, more than one person hollered from the window of their moving car, “I’m on your team!”.
Friends have received their chemo in their Team shirt. They’ve rung the bell, signaling their last treatment in their Team hoody. They’ve covered their bald head with their Team winter hat. They’ve taken pictures with their entire wedding party in their Team shirts as a proud survivor. They’ve welcomed a new baby (or two) in a Team onesie.
Our Team is so much bigger than we ever thought it would be. But we know in reality that we’re all teammates in this. So many of us have a story to tell. A story that is both intensely personal and incredibly relatable. It’s the story of why we hate cancer and in the coming weeks we’ll be sharing those stories. Everyone may be on our Team but not everyone knows why we hate cancer.
This is why.