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Moffitt nurse Diane Morgan

Today was a beautiful morning for us to hit the open road to the State Capitol — mid-60s and a clear sky. The sun was just rising as we spun away from Moffitt's Magnolia campus, officially beginning the first leg of our journey. Leaving from the hospital served as the perfect motivation to jumpstart the day's ride.

Riding 326 miles on open roads in any type of weather is scary. But when I met this group of wonderful and supportive people who ride for Moffitt through Cure on Wheels, I knew they had my back. They made my first Capitol Ride last year so fun and rewarding. It was amazing for me.

Working for 12 years as a nurse in Moffitt’s Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), or recovery room, I’ve had a front-row seat to see Moffitt’s impact on our patients. Both of my parents have also had cancer, so I’ve seen it up close and personal.

I’m an avid cyclist and have participated in other rides and events for Moffitt and other causes. But I’ve been curious about the Capitol Ride for years. I felt called to do it for the first time in 2018 – not just because I wanted to challenge myself, but to do it for something I believe in. I decided to put myself out there for Moffitt and for awareness of what Moffitt has done for our community.

When I’m in the midst of a 100+ mile ride, I think about every one of the PACU patients I’ve cared for. I have my parents with me in my thoughts. Even if I’m hurting on that bike, I know they’ve been through worse. If they can fight through it, so can I. And that keeps me going.

Words cannot describe the feeling I had reaching the State Capitol at the end of last year’s ride. It was cold enough to worry about ice on the roads, but we were so energized to be surrounded by supporters in Tallahassee for Moffitt Day. Our local legislators even greeted us on the Capitol steps. Even now, I get teary just thinking about it.

I just want everyone to know that Moffitt needs their support, because we all need Moffitt to continue to fight for the cure of cancer.

This article was written by Moffitt nurse Diane Morgan, RN