I started to ride because of my daughter, Kelsey’s successful outcome from a bone marrow transplant for AML she received at CHC in 2001. The entire team from medical to any kind of support became our family. CHC’s impact has been an immeasurable positive force in all our lives. Now after 17 years of riding Team Roaring Forks have become my family as well. I am heartened to see our Roaring Fork riders, a few cancer survivors as well, so dedicated to helping these beautiful children. I can honestly say the Courage Classic, the Wheels of Justice, the Roaring Forks and CHC inspire me every day.
For three days in July I record the picture of a child in my mind as I start pedaling my bike. I compare my ride to what a child’s journey through cancer is like. The following is some of my thoughts. (My ride is in lower case letters, THE CHILD’S IS CAPITALIZED)
1st few miles: “healthy, good to be alive, love my bike, love my friends and team mates”
1st day climb: “uneasy, hurts a bit, CANCER, NOT ME,IT’S TRUE, unsure, can I do this? I HAVE TO DO THIS, settle in to peddle, HOW MUCH CHEMO, HOW MUCH RADIATION, HOW LONG WILL I BE SICK?”
1st downhill: 1 climb done 2 to go, I KNOW MY CHEMO/RADIATION SCHEDULE IT’S DOABLE
2nd day climb: That downhill went too fast, 1st CHEMO, I CAN DO THIS, my legs are tired, THIS IS CRAZY, THEY ARE POISONING ME,it’s getting hot, I AM SCARED, I AM NAUSEATED, so happy to be riding with a friend, it helps, IT MAKES ME SAD TO SEE MOM AND DAD WITH TEARS IN THEIR EYES, I AM SCARED, dig deeper, finish the climb, I NEED TO THROW UP, I AM TIRED, I AM SCARED, WHY AM I HERE, WHY ME”
3rd day: darn, another uphill. I am hot, I am tired, I HAVE SORES IN MY MOUTH, THEY HURT WHEN I THROW UP, dig deeper, MORE CHEMO, MY HAIR IS COMING OUT IN CLUMPS, drink water, I AM BALD, I DON’T WANT TO SEE MY FRIENDS, I WANT TO GO HOME, PLEASE NO MORE NEEDLES, PLEASE NO MORE SURGERIES, I AM SCARED, I AM SICK, I WANT TO GO HOME, MORE MEDICINE, I CANT KEEP MY MEDICINE DOWN, don’t look up just keep pedaling, PLEASE I WANT TO FEEL BETTER, WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER?, I want this to end, it will soon, MORE MONTHS OF THIS. I WANT IT TO GO AWAY NOW.
My ride is 3 days, hmmmm… This child’s journey lasts for a year, often YEARS. Which one is harder?
THEN: I cross the finish line
I see me a bit sunburned and a few pounds lighter but… this child that had cancer is now walking through a pediatric cancer unit with a full head of hair and sporting a hospital nametag that says “MD” and not a patient number!
IT HAPPENS!!!! PLEASE, YOU BE THAT PERSON THAT PUTS HAIR BACK ON THAT CHILD!!
I started to ride in the Courage Classic in 2000. I was encouraged to ride by Bruce Pearson after I donated to his ride for the last several years.
My oldest grandson from Jackson Hole was a patient (heart) at the Children’s Hospital in Denver and is doing well,(every 5 years a check-up).
I for myself and several riders from the Roaring Fork Valley were honored to join the WOJ Team. To support the CCBD is an incredible important
mission to eliminate pediatric cancer. Prostate cancer visited me in 2016, subsequent surgery and treatment followed in 2017. All seems to be OK for now. I am of course looking forward to ride again in the 30th Courage Classic with all the WOJ Team members.
Rubber side up!!!!!