It seems too simple to just say that I would not be who am I today if it wasn't for Matt Bradley, because there are so many complicated emotions behind that statement.  Matt gave me my passion for cycling and the platform to follow my dreams, but it was all of the other things he taught me about life that have shaped the person I've become.  Matt was the most selfless and caring person I've ever know.  He devoted his life to fighting for social justice and change.  Words will never quite capture what he did and what he meant to all of the people who's lives he touched.  Personally Matt taught me to open my eyes, to see everything and everyone just as they are, without the clouded lens of social norms and stereotypes.  He taught me to celebrate my own differences and be proud of them instead of striving so hard to fit into a box created by ignorance and fear.  That in itself was the greatest gift Matt gave me, to be completely and unabashedly myself.

Matt danced and sang like no one was watching and that was one of the many reasons I loved and admired him with all my heart.

Matt danced and sang like no one was watching and that was one of the many reasons I loved and admired him with all my heart.

We rode with Matt's brothers to the hospital the day he had his leg amputated.  He never once stopped smiling, showed any fear, or had a single complaint.  He was back on his bike the day after he got out of the hospital (he rigged up his trainer with a sling to hold his right leg) If that isn't strength and determination then I don't know what is.  Matt always looked forward, never back and never down.  Matt taught me to celebrate every single day of my life, to smile up at the sky and be grateful.

We rode with Matt's brothers to the hospital the day he had his leg amputated.  He never once stopped smiling, showed any fear, or had a single complaint.  He was back on his bike the day after he got out of the hospital (he rigged up his trainer with a sling to hold his right leg) If that isn't strength and determination then I don't know what is.  Matt always looked forward, never back and never down.  Matt taught me to celebrate every single day of my life, to smile up at the sky and be grateful.

I miss you everyday Matt, but I know you are always with me.  Sending all my love to the Bradley family today and always.

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