Saturday, May 25, 2013

It IS About The Bike

OK.  So, in 2001 Lance Armstrong wrote "It's Not About The Bike."  The book, though centered on his professional cycling (and triathlon before that) was about his battle with, and subsequent defeat of, cancer.  Lance's message: cancer was the central focus, the bike was ancillary.

Well, for me it IS about the bike.  Cycling has been a part of me since I could ride a bike.  I rode everywhere when I was a kid.  From age 12-16 or so, I raced BMX.  I rode a bike for much of my LDS mission in Brazil.  When I returned from Brazil, I purchased a mountain bike and got into mountain biking.  Then, in 2003, my lovely wife Lisa gave me a road bike, and it was all over.  From that time I've been a "roadie" (while I still race/ride mountain bikes, and also have begun racing cyclocross).  Road cycling is exhilarating- it's you, your bike, normally several other cyclists, and the road.  Sometimes the road is flat.  At times it's hilly.  It's ever changing, and challenging, and completely addicting.  I know that I'll be a cyclist all my life.  But, I also know I'll most likely also have cancer all my life.  B Cell Follicular Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma was the diagnosis in Oct. 2009, and is indolent (slow growing) and incurable.  Just like the road- cancer is ever changing and challenging.  The road has ups and downs.  So does cancer.

Why am I telling you this?  Because at the intersection of cycling and cancer is an incredible thing for me- Huntsman Cancer Foundation.  Jon Huntsman established Huntsman Cancer Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Institute and Huntsman Cancer Foundation with the stated purpose of eradicating cancer in his lifetime.  Will that happen? I pray so.  but, for that to happen, it takes research. Clinical trials.  And lots and lots of funds.  Money.  Dinero.  Moolah.  Which is where cycling and cancer intersect beautifully for me.

5 years ago, before I was diagnosed with cancer, I decided to use my cycling addiction to help me raise funds for Huntsman through their Huntsman Hometown Heroes fundraising program.  Why? My dear mother had just been diagnosed with uterine cancer, and suddenly I realized I could lose this woman who means so much to me.  So, while she was battling cancer, I decided to battle it with my bike and with the funds of those who would be generous enough to donate.

Since that point, I simply have decided I will be a Hometown Hero for the rest of my life.  Cycling.  Fundraising.  Battling.

So, I'll finally get to the point (I know, too late!)  I'll just say it- I NEED YOUR HELP.  More to the point, I need your money, dinero, moolah.  Yes, I personally need it (I'm a Huntsman patient, just had my most recent 6 month checkup on Tuesday of this week), but so do all the others that are being treated at Huntsman Cancer Hospital, and all the clinicians and researchers and medical staff at the hospital and Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Here's what I'm going to do.  On June 9th of this year, my Mom and I will drive to Reno, NV with 16 other cyclists and their families and friends who will be driving support for us.  We'll get up Monday the 10th and ride 135 miles.  Then we'll ride Tuesday another 125 miles.  Wednesday we'll ride 120 miles.  Thursday we'll ride 120 miles.  We'll take Friday off in Delta, UT, and then Saturday we'll ride 140 miles from Delta, UT to the steps of Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Salt Lake City.  This is Jeff Warren's Ride From Reno, and you can read more about it here.  667 miles in 5 days, with the intent of raising money for Huntsman Cancer Foundation.  The Saturday ride we'll be joined by over 200 cyclists who will be participating in what we call the Huntsman 140, all raising funds themselves.

Then, in September I'll be racing my ninth LOTOJA Classic- 206 miles from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, WY.  I'll be on the road with over 1,000 racers, but also with 74 other Hometown Heroes who have signed up to raise funds for Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

That's over 667 miles from Reno to SLC, and then 206 miles from Logan to Jackson.  Almost 900 miles. On a bike. Pedaling.  I'll do the "hard work".  Will you do the rest? Will you help me and consider donating whatever you can to Huntsman Hometown Heroes and the Huntsman Cancer Foundation?  The donation may be tax deductible (talk to a tax expert), but I can tell you it will certainly prolong your life and buy you some blessings in heaven (well, maybe not, but it will buy my eternal love and gratitude, and isn't that almost as good?)  :-)

If you feel you can donate (any amount, that's up to you), you can click the link below and go directly to my LOTOJA Hometown Heroes donation page. I choose to roll my Huntsman 140 fundraising into my LOTOJA fundraising so I only have to ask friends and family once, and not pester them over and over (too much).  You can donate via credit card right on the page.  Or, if you'd like to donate via check or cash, you can send them to me and I'll get them to Huntsman.  My home address is:
1597 E. Ridge Rd.
Layton, UT 84040

Click here if you'd like to donate:

Let me close by saying "thank you" for reading this far.  Even if you choose not to donate, or can't at this time, know how much I appreciate your love, support and interest.

Much love,