I am riding this year to give back to the amazing hospital that saved my life. At fifteen I was diagnosed with Leukemia. Given the extremely aggressive nature of my leukemia, it was felt that a Bone Marrow Transplant would offer me the best chance of survival. Therefore on Dec 17 1998 I underwent a Bone Marrow Transplant and have been leukemia free now for over 20 years! Following my transplant I was so weak I could barely walk up a flight of stairs, the idea of riding 150 miles over 3 mountain passes was unthinkable. However, thanks to the amazing team at Children’s and their tireless efforts, I was able to complete this ride the last 8 years and my family and I have raised over $236,000 and recruited scores of additional riders and corporate sponsors to help other children battling cancer. I am extremely fortunate to now work at Children’s Hospital in the center for cancer and blood disorders and I have the privilege of helping other children overcome their cancer’s, and hopefully a couple of mountain passes as well . Given my unique position at Children’s Hospital Colorado I get to see firsthand how essential the money raised from this event is. Since the economic downturn, grant funding for cancer research is at an all-time low. Without philanthropic support we may not be able to make the major breakthroughs we so desperately need. Cancer care has made amazing advancements in the last decade, but there is so much more that we need to accomplish. I am riding to generate funding for the brilliant young doctors I work with to give them the opportunity to find the cures we all so desperately need. I am also riding to support my fellow survivors. The Courage Classic is such a special event because it has a profound impact on those who complete the ride but it also truly brings the community together in support of a cause which touches all of us—defeating cancer!

-Brandon Nuechterlein

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