Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It's been nearly five years...

...since I was diagnosed with cancer.  B cell follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma, to be exact.  Oct. 1, 2009.  A date I won't forget.  Nor do I want to.

Family and Friends,

OK.  Most of you know the story.  Riding my bike from Layton, UT to Logan, UT to see the fireworks with my family on July 3, 2009.  Hit by a car.  5 broken ribs and a punctured lung.  Some lymph nodes that were a little larger than they should have been.  Tests.  Scans.  Surgery and a biopsy.  And then, on Oct. 1, 2009 at Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT, Dr. Martha Glenn confirmed what we knew- it was cancer.  But, that day she told us a lot more, and we've learned a lot since.  And, here we are five years later.  I'm still alive and healthy.  I still have cancer.  It's incurable, and pretty much untreatable right now.  It probably won't go away, and most likely will transform from indolent (slow growing) to aggressive one day, but then it can be treated with chemotherapy.

So, I have every reason to care about cancer fundraising and research and prevention and education.  Those are the things that Huntsman Cancer Foundation Institute and Hospital do so well.  And that's why I raise funds for Huntsman every year.  And, yes, that's why I e-mail you every year and ask you to help me raise funds.

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.  My mother had just been diagnosed with uterine cancer.  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.

I know, I know..."what's your point, Todd?"  Well, plain and simple- I NEED YOUR HELP.  More to the point, I need your money.  Actually, what I need, and what I'm asking for, is your generosity.  I need it personally (I'm a Huntsman patient, my next 6 month checkup is in November), and 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.

In June of this year (for the third year in a row) I rode my bike 670 miles from Reno, NV to Salt Lake City, UT with 11 other cyclist friends of mine.  All in five days' worth of riding.  Then, three weeks from tomorrow, I'll be racing my tenth 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 670 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

In closing, let me thank you for reading to this point.  Even if you choose not to donate, or can't at this time, know how much I appreciate your love, support and interest.

I thank you all in advance for anything you feel you can do. I’ll continue to post updates of fundraising progress on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/toddjhandy), my blog (http://www.toddhandy.blogspot.com/), and via Twitter (http://twitter.com/toddhandy).

Thank you for your relationship with me, and for your love and support!
Much love,