Two years ago, in May 2019, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). That summer, Betsy Cracco (my sister) put together Team Joe in my honor to ride and walk The Tour of the Litchfield Hills to raise awareness and funds for cancer care in northwest CT. The ride took place 1 month before my bone marrow transplant on Sept 12th at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
The month of September was the worst month of my 55 years on this earth, but I survived it thanks to astounding cancer care and the support of my family and friends. When I left Dana Farber at the end of September, I couldn't walk unassisted. The road to recovery was going to be a tough one. I did everything in my power to get healthy again and to gain my strength back. I focused on the goal of being able to ride in the next Tour of The Litchfield Hills.
As it turns out, Covid forced the cancellation of the 2020 Tour of the Litchfield Hills. No matter. Team Joe rode the route anyway and raised thousands for cancer care in the process. 11 months after getting my bone marrow transplant, I rode the 55-mile 3,000' vertical Tour of the Litchfield Hills route with my sister and many of our friends. I'm not going to kid you, it was a huge struggle to complete that ride. But peopel who can't get the cancer care they need have an even bigger struggle.
I'm incredibly lucky. I have family and friends who love me, I had health insurance (the bills for my cancer care were enormous! and the medicine I need to keep taking costs $8,000 per month!!!!) and lets not forget....I was lucky enough to recover from Leukemia! Not everyone is so lucky. It's for those poeople we ride and raise funds for cancer care.
I hope you'll find it in your heart to help by making a donation to Team Joe so we can help others who aren't as lucky as I am.
Tour of the Litchfield Hills 2021
The Tour is a non-competitive 12, 30, 50, 75 and 100 mile bike ride through the scenic Litchfield Hills for riders of all ability levels. For walkers and runners, the Tour also offers 2, 4 and 6 mile routes through downtown Torrington. This year's Tour will be held on Sunday, August 1st.
The Tour's mission is to bring together community resources with the common goal of raising funds to support the care, treatment, education and prevention of cancer for residents living, working, or receiving treatment for cancer in Northwest Connecticut. By donating funds to The Cancer Care Fund of the Litchfield Hills, Inc., we will have a positive effect locally, in the Northwest corner, as our friends and families battle the disease.
For information on the routes, elevations, lodging, and photos, please visit www.tourofthelitchfieldhills.com
The 17th annual Tour of the Litchfield Hills will be held on Sunday, August 1st. The Tour benefits The Cancer Care Fund of the Litchfield Hills, Inc. There are rides of 12 miles, 30 miles, 55 miles, 75 miles and 100 miles. All of the rides are on the scenic, though hilly, roads of Litchfield County. There are also walking and running routes of 1.2 miles, 4 miles and 8 miles. All routes start and end at Coe Park, Rt. 202, Torrington, Ct.
Numerous rest stops provide water and fruit. Sag wagons patrol all the routes. The registration fee is $45 if you register before July 14th; $50 if you register on or after July 15th. The registration fee includes a t-shirt and a free picnic at the end. All participants are urged to raise funds to benefits The Cancer Care Fund of the Litchfield Hills Inc.