I’m Jim Bridges and for the past three years I’ve walked with my wonderful wife, Julie Bridges, as she courageously fought colorectal cancer. When she was diagnosed, she decided it was time to share her faith publicly and serve others battling cancer through support, love and prayers. On March 12, 2021, Julie lost her battle with cancer and went home to be with the Lord. While we thank God for his mercy and grace providing the ultimate healing for our Julie, we know how important the battle to cure others facing cancer is. On the day that she passed, after sharing the news with our four children, comforting them, and getting them put to bed for the first night without their mother’s prayers or kiss I set about ridding our house of anything that reminded me of cancer. I bagged up all of the clothes we bought for her treatments, the blankets, the bags to carry her supplies, and her medications. The only things I kept were her wig and collection of hats that I planned to pass on to someone else in need. I waited almost a month before taking thank you notes and presents to her oncology office as I didn’t want to think about Julie’s battle with cancer. Before leaving the office that I day I expressed my thankfulness for each of the amazing staff members for the love and support they provided our family. I told them I loved them, but hoped to never see them again. While Julie and I followed the Fight Colorectal Cancer website and read their newsletter we never really participated in their advocacy. When Julie passed, I prayed about what God wanted me to do moving forward. At that time, I was focused on sharing Julie’s love of Jesus and his blessings and support as our family grieved. Cancer advocacy was not something that I had any desire to do and God wasn’t guiding me in that direction.
This all changed a few weeks ago. I received an email from Fight Colorectal Cancer about their Climb for a Cure Fundraising campaign. I’d considered participating the past few years, but the event was held in Colorado and I didn’t want to be away from Julie during her treatment. This year the climb is being held in Lake Tahoe at Squaw Valley Resort. When I saw the original email, I gave it a thought and decided against it because my emotions around cancer were still too raw. God had different plans. I kept getting reminder emails about the event so I decided I should look into it more. As I read the details, I realized that Squaw Valley Resort was where I’d proposed to Julie 24 years ago. The Climb for a Cure this year goes right past the location where Julie agreed to be my bride. It is taking place on August 22, 2021, which is 24 years to the day after I proposed to my soulmate. It is even being hosted in the same hotel that we stayed in. I know this day will be a physical challenge for me, but the emotional battle will be even more taxing. I’m excited to revisit this location for the first time in many years and carry Julie’s memory and story with me as I climb to help others facing the same mountain she did. I hope that through this fundraising and advocacy I can shed a light on a cancer that most people don’t want to talk about and help to find a cure so that other families won’t have to face a future without their loved one. My Julie was the best person I’ve ever known. I’ll be hiking with her in my heart and her brothers and sisters in the struggle against cancer in my prayers. Any support is appreciated. If you are unable to donate financially, I would really appreciate your prayers on the day of the climb.