As most of you know in 2014, I rode my bike across America to fulfill a dream of mine and a promise I made my dad the night he died. That dream to bike across America was still there in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In 2018 I began riding vertically across America. While I was fulfilling a dream of mine with these rides I decided to give my ride a greater purpose. Since my immediate family has been impacted deeply by cancer I chose to use these rides as fund raises for cancer. The fight to cure cancer is not over yet and neither is my dream/desire to see America from the seat of a bicycle. Once again, I am asking for your support in my fund-raising efforts so TOGETHER we can make waves in the fight against cancer. On August 10 I will be participating in the SAA event by swimming a mile in Lake Michigan. In September I will ride along the Pacific Coast from Astoria, OR to San Diego, CA (23 days).
This year I am dedicating my rides and swim to two very special friends, Steve and Leslie.
I met Steve 37 years ago when our masters swim team was founded. Since 1982 we have been swimming and competing together. Steve holds several World Masters and National Masters swimming records. He is one of the most disciplined swimmers I know. His strength and determination are helping him in his fight against cancer. In March of 2017 Steve was diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer. With the permission of his doctor he was able to postpone the surgery until after he had competed in August 2017 at the World Masters Championships in Budapest. He finished 1st in the 800-yard freestyle swim. He also got two silver medals. Twelve days later, he underwent an 8-hour surgery at Anderson Cancer Center. Steve was 85 at the time of the surgery. During the past year rectum cancer cells appeared in his lungs and now have traveled to his spine causing him extreme pain and weakness in his legs. He is currently undergoing chemo while being in the hospital. Like Leslie I am hoping for a miracle drug for Steve. Steve passed away from colorectal cancer June 2, 2019.
Leslie, is a good friend that I met on my 2014 cross country ride. On Jan. 23, 2018 Leslie was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and given a 50-50 chance that a year later she would still be alive. Thanks to the wonder drug Alectinib (FDA approved this drug just two months before Leslie was diagnosed) Leslie has spent the past 14 months checking things off her bucket list. She realizes that at any point her body can reject this drug. Every day that goes by allows research to continue to find the next miracle drug for her.
The money you donate today insures that cancer research will continue.
As I ride and swim I also will be remembering my two sisters (2017, 2008), my brother (1997), my niece (2005), Howard (2014) and the other 248 names (my angels) on my white biking jersey. In 2014 I began writing the names of the people I rode for on the back of my white biking jersey. I continue to add names each year – thus the total of 253 names. While swimming 1.5 mile in the 2013 SAA event, I suffered hypothermia. When I could not do the lake swim I began biking across America. It has taken over four years to be comfortable swimming again. This is my 15th year participating in this event. Through your generosity, I have raised over $114,000 for cancer research, prevention, and treatment. Our fight is not over yet and your support is still needed.
Proceeds from the swim will support early-stage research and clinical trials for a variety of cancer types (one of them being lung cancer) at the Swim Across America Lab at Chicago Rush University Medical Center.
Their research benefits everyone. Together let us make the list of survivors longer. Patty
In memory of: John (brother), Chrissy (niece), Deanna (sister), Nancy (sister), Howard, Inese, Linda V, Claire, Mary Kay, John C., Christina, Karen, Ken, Elizabeth, Amos, Rosemary R, Lanny D, Doug J, Pete D, Joan D, Karen H, Al B, Rita T, Stephanie, Amy A, Thomas P, Estelle P, James, W.C. S, Toni K, Arthur B, Jill J, Mary, Patti G, James B, Lucille, Jane, Jonna, Kappy K.’s mom, Elizabeth B. W, Steve M. Steve, Leah A, Sally Sunshine, Catherine G, Nancy, Charles “Chuck” P,, Debbie, Stephanie, Betty, Matt G, Jay G., Courtney, Chad, Bob B. Katie R, Amy, Steve M and the list goes on…
In honor of: Jackie, Susan, Paul, Charles R., Linda K., Wendi, Jeff T., Mary L, Patricia M, Steve M., Ralph, Jim M., Rita, Debbie and Steve V, Ronnie , Leslie D, Doug C, Debbie B, Nancy W, Laura B, Eileen, Holly B, Samantha C, Terese K, Tony, Jolie, AJ, Bob, Molly R, Joanne R, Eileen, Ian W, Brum, Marlene’s family and friends, Larry M, Leslie H, Mike R, Charles “Chuck” P, Debbie, Stephanie, Dick, Lynn H, Terry, Rob M. Marcia P, Helen W., Lisa, Laurel, Jenny, Patti, Rob, Steve K., Claire G., Mark B, Cindy, Gayle, Linda and the list goes on…