This year’s ride holds special meaning for me. I last rode VeloSano in 2015 when a friend rode on the Akron General team after being diagnosed with stage IV Lung cancer (a non-smoker). Steve was fortunate that he had a gene that allowed him to receive targeted gene therapy. Unfortunately, Steve won’t be able to ride VeloSano this year to raise funds to fight cancer as he recently died from his cancer. This year Sandy, Laurie, Sue and I will be riding VeloSano to honor Steve and to continue the fight against cancer.
I am happy to report that colleagues Dan and Jeff are back treating patients. Dan had to go through a very extensive surgery at Mayo Clinic in the fall of 2015 at which time a tumor was removed from his sacrum leaving him with permanent nerve damage to one leg. Jeff was treated with chemo and a stem cell transplant for his multiple myeloma. Dan is cured, and Jeff is considered to be in remission. Both of these results were possible because of cancer research. Dan recently got a 3-wheeled bike and is looking forward to being able to ride again with his wife as the weather clears.
My family also lost a special person this last year that was like an Aunt. Shirley lost her fight against multiple myeloma last June and has been greatly missed since then.
You may not know Steve or Shirley, but my guess is that you know someone else in your life like them. You know someone who shouldn’t have been touched by cancer but was. You know someone who is fighting or has already lost the fight that shouldn’t have had to go through all that cancer takes out of them.
Thanks for helping me reach my goal and supporting all the Steve's, Dan's, Jeff's and Shirley's in your life.
These are some of the names that have been on my bike for the prior two rides: Dad, Aunt Donene, Shirley, Mary, Ramona, Dan, Rhonda, Kylie, Lindsey, Jon, Angela, Jim, MaryAnn, Bob, Bo, Billy, Diane, Tim, Sam, Leonsea and Steve. New names to be added this year will include: Jeff, Richard, and Nick. Hopefully no other names will be added this year.