We all have challenges in our day. Some little. Some big.
Each day, we get up in the morning, and our attitude is all that determines how we react to what happens to us during those 24 hours. For Susan Bertrand, a local Syracuse resident, what started out as a challenge in one aspect OF her life, ended up as a fight FOR her life.
This story starts with the best of intentions: A local health and fitness studio – Dynamic Health and Fitness (www.dhfonline.net) – operated by two super guys, brothers Jay and Bryan Morgan, was the beginning. Have known these guys for years.
In 2007, Bryan, an avid cyclist, participated in the Live Strong Challenge in Philadelphia. This event is known worldwide because of the efforts of Lance Armstrong, winner of the Tour de France and cancer survivor.
Bryan’s experience led to the creation of the Live Strong Team of CNY – over 40 participants of all ages and backgrounds. Everyone worked together to bring the 40+ team participants to Philadelphia this year. Team member and cyclist Susan Bertrand, founder of the “Maureen’s Hope Foundation'” in honor of her sister who lost her battle with cancer, played a key role in the effort. Their efforts were recognized and recently featured on local Syracuse television show, “Bridge Street”.
Participants traveled to Philadelphia the weekend of August 22nd. To say the weather did not cooperate is an understatement. The Sunday the race was held, the rains came down unrelentingly the entire day. I remember thinking about the 40 people in Philadelphia and wondering how they were doing.
While in Philadelphia, organizers of the event apparently thought the rains would cease, so the race was on. The course was challenging, and even more so due to the weather. Pounding rain was coming down in unending torrents. When it became clear the rain was not going to stop, the race was called off. But not before the unexpected and unforeseen event that changed many lives.
Susan, doing her best to maneuver the course in the blinding rain, hit a pothole in the road. She was catapulted off her bike at a high rate of speed into the forest beside the road and hit a rock. She was rushed to a Pennsylvania trauma center where she was operated on 4 times and, at one point, given last rites. The next few days were critical, but Sue survived – in no small part, the doctors say, to the shape she was in by preparing for the race.
Neighbors, family and friends all came together to help out in any way they could, as people do during difficult times like this. She was brought out of the coma days later, and is now doing better and better each day. She will hopefully be home soon.
Such great intentions. Such an unexpected challenge that changed lives in an instant.
Someone experiencing this kind of challenge could use all the encouragement they can get, wouldn’t you say?!
Please send Susan a get well card on me: Susan Bertrand, c/o Dynamic Health and Fitness, 8395 Oswego Road, Baldwinsville, NY 13027. It only takes a minute.
As Susan works hard to get her life back, it will help to know that people are thinking of her. Wouldn’t it make all the difference in the world to you?