In April 2015, Brian Rozelle, my best friend since middle school, passed away at the age of 30 from bile duct cancer. I’ve thought about him every single day since, but rarely in a way that makes me feel sad … he wouldn’t want that.
He was the poster boy of positivity and never asked for pity or sympathy. One thing Brian said that will always stick with me is that the final few years of his life, the years in which he was battling cancer, were the best years of his life.
He never let his illness hold him back. In fact, he was more active than anyone in our entire group of friends. He got engaged, traveled the world, attended Burning Man, and continued to golf multiple times a week.
At the end of his life, what he felt most passionately about was Cycle for Survival, an incredible movement which funds rare cancer research, like the cancer Brian had. At their indoor cycling events he was able to ride with our friends even when the cancer was taking a toll. He never stopped fighting and never missed an opportunity to help other people.
He said, “Even if [Cycle for Survival] doesn’t save my life, it will for sure save future generations.” That’s who Brian was. He wanted everyone to love life as much as he did. He didn t want anyone to suffer. In those final years, he raised more than $140,000 for cancer research, was an advocate for the cause, and inspired everyone who met him with his determination and selflessness.
I will continue to ride for Brian at Cycle for Survival for the rest of my life, and I encourage everyone to participate or donate to fund rare cancer research and clinical trials.