When Kathleen Jackson felt like she couldn't pedal her bicycle any longer, she grabbed for a picture of fallen Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka hanging around her neck for inspiration.
Pavelka's aunt was one of roughly 1,600 people — including 19 Burbank police officers — who rode this month in the Police Unity Tour, a 240-mile, three-day bike ride from East Hanover, New Jersey to Washington D.C. to commemorate officers who have died in the line of duty.
Her nephew was fatally shot 10 years ago during a routine stop outside the Ramada Inn in Burbank. He was 26.
"I'd say 'C'mon, Matthew, you've got to help me through this,'" Jackson said.
She thought of the last time she saw him, on their annual water-skiing trip to Colorado in 2003, and when he gave Jackson his black Labrador, Harley, on Mother's Day that same year.
"His spirit got me through it," she said.