The Palace is made of Corn

South Dakota…land of the only Corn Palace in the world, stretches of road that you can see for miles, crazy thunderstorms (many with amazing lightening shows), friendly people and time to think. Traveling through this state I have met many bicyclists (thus far Sioux Falls and Mitchell) and I am now begining to realize the immense population of avid cyclists. 

It also surprises me the number of bicycle activities many of the states in the continental US are hosting. From the famous RAGBRAI in Iowa, Tour de Kota in South Dakota (just held June 8th), and rides through Durango and the mountains of Colorado,  to shorter rides such as Bike the Drive in Chicago, it seems that bicycling is booming. It’s about time.

Through less dependence on gasoline and a great form of exercise, the benefits of bicycling are immense. While visiting the Avera Queen of Peace Hospital today in Mitchell, SD, I gained a better perspective on the issues of health and also the importance of smaller hospitals in more remote areas.

The Avera Hospital was a great experience to see how such a dedicated, progressive team of people work hard to give the best treatment to cancer patients, no matter the size of their town or surrounding area. Although South Dakota has just over 780,000 people (total), people everywhere, everyday are diagnosed with cancer. It is important to have a good hospital in the smallest most remote areas, as well as larger more populated regions.

Not only do the progressive hospital teams work hard to obtain the best equipment, it also helps people in less fortunate areas, such as South America. By this, I mean that the "old" equipment (normally just a few years old due to new technology) is sold to other hospitals in other countries, such as Brazil. In turn, this helps people in other countries receive better treatment as well as improving their quality of life. Our progressive approach and the research not only impacts people in the US, but across the world.

People across this country are just as dedicated from the small towns in South Dakota to the large cities of New York City and Chicago. Cancer doesn’t discriminate, but can help be prevented by healthy living.

We need to work together across this country to unite in the fight.

"Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens, not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results."

 -Anon 

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