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This summer I met a young woman named Lydia during my 4K for Cancer ride. Sitting in a room surrounded by strangers, she courageously shared her story of her fight with cancer. Diagnosed as she was about to enter law school, Lydia deferred for a year for treatment. This year she made it through orientation but once again is going through surgeries to fight cancer. Yet despite all the time she spends fighting for herself she never stops fighting for others.

2013.11.11 Lydia's Human Rights Lawyer Campaign

This year Lydia’s Christmas wish is to fund a human rights lawyer for those who are in need of defense but cannot afford it. Defending human rights is Lydia’s passion, and she has this to say about her fundraising goal:

For Christmas this year, I want to raise money for an IJM human rights lawyer to stand up for a victim of violence throughout the legal process. Without an excellent lawyer, poor people have no way to seek justice for abuse–and criminals stay on the streets, where they can harm other vulnerable people. However, with a strong advocate in the court, survivors receive justice and communities are protected.

Providing a lawyer for just one month costs $1550, and I hope to reach this goal by December 10, 2013. Please join me 🙂

Lydia’s cause is pure and her perseverance alone is beyond comprehension. As always, I am proud and somewhat in awe of her optimism and resilience. Please, if you can spare it, please help Lydia reach her goal. Donate now. And if you want to learn more about her story, check out her blog.

To all those who supported me in my 4K ride – this means a lot to me. I rode for Lydia for 70 days and it was her willpower and determination that inspired me through the hardest days. For me it is not just about the lawyer or even human rights: it is about supporting the people in this world who surpass all the odds and put others before themselves to make a difference. Lydia is one of those people. Help her out.