Mohican 4 Life Challenge
Thank you!! We love our MTBing community, family and friends. Because of you, we were able to raise $8,127.00 for cholangiocarcinoma research!! We raised $6,650 on line and $1,477 in cash donations!! We can not thank you enough for all of your Love and Support!!
The Mohican 4 Life Challenge is a way for Larry and I to raise monies to give others Hope!! It is a way to challenge myself and I hope a way for others to challenge themselves!! My goal is to raise monies for awareness, early detection, research and a cure.
Ride as many laps of Mohican State Park as you can.
$25.00 - one lap
$50.00 - two laps
$75.00 - three laps
$100.00 - four lap
if you are unable to attend or mountain biking just isn't your thing, we would still love if you would consider a donation. 100% of your donation will go to cancer research.
I was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma or bile duct cancer in July 2014. Cholangiocarcinoma is a rare silent cancer that tends to go undetected until it is in its advanced stages and inoperable. I was lucky enough to be eligible for surgery followed by six months of chemotherapy treatments. I am currently in remission and continue to recover from treatment and a second surgery. There is no cure for Cholangiocarcinoma. While most cancers are on the decline, for unknown reasons Cholangiocarcinoma is on the rise. The goal is to keep me in remission for as long as possible.
My husband Larry and I have always loved mountain biking. I joined CAMBA, the Cleveland Area Mountain Biking Associatiion, Race Team in 2007. I started in cross country races, then 6 hrs races and then jumped to 100 mile races. I was five weeks out from my longest race yet, a 350 mile mtb race, when I was diagnosed with cancer. This was very difficult for me to wrap my head around. I thought I was the strongest and healthiest I had ever been. I was riding well, was feeling really strong and was excited for my upcoming MTB race. I was having what we thought were minor health issues - itching, menopausal issues, urge incontenence and indigestion that I was seeing my PCP and a dermatologist for. 4th of July weekend 2014 was a big training weekend for me. I felt great on the bike. I had a lot of strength and endurance. It was a beautiful sunny weekend. Little did I know that that would be my last big riding binge. I went from training 15hrs a week to fighting for my life!
I was dx with Cholangiocarcinoma Tuesday, July 8, 2014. Thursday, July 10th I meet with my surgeon and Tuesday, July 16, 2014, a week after being diagnosed, I had surgery. It is a long surgery. I had a whipple, a liver resection and resection of the portal vein. I am in ICU three days but I'm up walking short distances the day after surgery. I have a lot of pain. I have trouble standing tall and have to walk holding my torso. Recovery is slow. I have a lot of discomfort not only from surgery but my legs are really sore. They are use to riding 150 miles a week and now my torso will only allow them to move slowly for short distances. I realize that I wasn't training for a 350 mile mtb race, I was training to fight cancer. Five weeks after surgery I'm able to walk 2 miles slowly. I start chemo in September of 2014. Chemo brings a constant headache, fatigue, loss of taste, thinning hair and chemo brain. I dislike the way it makes me feel but know it's a necessary evil. I continue to work reduced hours during treatment. Work brings some "normalcy" to this major change in direction my life has taken.
I try to walk outside daily. I'm slow but I always feel better after being outside. I try riding the indoor trainer several times but it causes to much discomfort on my incision. Finally, on October 14, 2014, almost three months after my surgery, I ride my bike for the first time since that July 4th weekend. It was a beautiful sunny day filled with smiles and tears. To be on my bike again!!!
I continue to ride my bike and hike through treatment. It not only helps to flush the chemo from my body but being outdoors just makes me happy. I work reduced hours. I tire easily and Larry has taken over most of the chores so I can concentrate on working, resting and doing outdoor pursuits. I have become like a light switch. I'm either shining bright and active or asleep. A headache is my constant companion. We celebrate end of treatment with a vacation to Bryce and Zion Natinal Park.
End of treatment is scary. Now what? Since treatment is finished I expect to get stronger but it seems that I am more tired. I continue to ride but instead of being able to ride for hours on end I can only ride for short periods. I am so grateful for making it as far as I have but was not prepared for how much I would lose along the way. To be a healthy, fit, strong person my entire life and now finding daily tasks much more of a challenge is a mental issue I now deal with. But I know God has a plan for Larry and I and that gives us strength and peace.
I have been in remission a year. I have my blood work tested every 6 weeks and scans every three months. The Doctors hope I can go two to three years without reaccurance. Larry and I hope and pray for longer. I'm one of the lucky ones. So many others diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma are not canadates to have surgery. Many die within just a few months of being diagnosed. I want to help change that. I want to help fund research so there are better treatment options. I want improved detection methods. I want a CURE!!!
Currently I have little of the strength and endurance I had in July 2014 but I have the will! I am so grateful for my current health. For the opportunity to continue to ride and hike. To share my life with Larry. To continue to grow in our Faith. To have the opportunity to help others who will be diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma. Come take the challenge. Let's do more then what we think is possible. My goal is to complete 4 laps!! Yes, a 100 miles!!! What's your goal? One lap, two laps, three laps or four laps of Mohican State park!! Come take the challenge with me and help raise research funds. 100% of proceeds raised will go to the Cleveland Clinic research of Cholangiocarcinoma.
For more details on the M4LC please click on the blue "Mohican 4 Life Challenge" words under the "Donate Now" button. I will update this team page periodically between now and July 16th.
I have also developed a Mohican 4 Life Challenge Facebook event page. It is public but is not currently found in a search engine. You can access it through my Facebook page and many friends are sharing it. Hopefully we can get the M4LC Facebook page to come up in a search engine soon.
Please share this link with others who you feel may be interested in raising research funds for Cholangiocarcinoma and taking on The Mohican 4 Life Challenge!!
Thank you for all the support you have shown to Larry and I. We can not express enough what it means to us both!!
Kelly and Larry