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Marissa's bucket list

A few days ago I received an email from my friend Marissa Rauch. She’d just finished “Bike to the Beach,” a 108-mile ride from D.C. to Dewey Beach, Delaware, benefiting Autism Speaks. Marissa, a celebrated photographer, biked in honor of Camille Galli, a friend’s daughter who has autism. While Marissa personally raised nearly $8,000 for Autism Speaks, she also did it, she says, because biking 100 miles was on her bucket list of things to accomplish before turning 50 in November. The date of the ride was also significant--the anniversary of her father’s death. “It was extremely challenging because of the extreme heat. I had to channel my Dad, begging him to send some clouds to get rid of the oppressive heat,” Marissa wrote. “It was very emotional at times.” At one point, with the temperature soaring above 100 degrees, Marissa stopped to help a fellow rider with a flat tire. She said one of the race supervisors asked if she wanted to ride in a van to the next stop, 12 miles way. Marissa declined the offer. “I really felt like it would be a failure not to ride every mile.” As a cancer survivor and single mother, Marissa knows a thing or two about not giving up. She’s an example of someone who is living life to its fullest and helping others along the way. “I feel tired, but proud of my accomplishment and what I could do to help the cause, Autism. I loved being on Team Camille and doing it for a very special person to me, Camille Galli.” Thank you, Marissa, for inspiring us. You’ve certainly raised the bar for all our bucket lists!