As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma early in 2004 (which looking back may have been Diffuse B Cell according to my Oncologist of 14 years). Likely related to 2-4-D (think Roundup) I went through the CHOP-R regimen where like many cancer patients, I lost my hair and experienced other fun chemo effects. Still, I am one of the fortunate ones. The side effects I went through were absolutely worth it as the cancer was kicked to the curb and I have been in remission (possibly cured) with no treatment since that time which has allowed me to watch my beautiful family grow from then toddlers to high school. Incidentally, the -R (Rituximab) in my treatment was a newly developed drug at that time and I give it a lot of credit in my very positive response to the treatment.
As you may not know, Fred Hutch played a significant role in my diagnosis, treatment and recovery. First, upon initial diagnosis at Overlake, a wonderful nurse friend suggested I go to Fred Hutch for a world class second opinion which matched the initial diagnosis. At that second opinion appointment, I found out my brand new oncologist in Bellevue (who has been amazing in every way) was a Fellow at Fred Hutch the year prior and had been mentored by my second opinion cancer specialist there at Fred Hutch. Additionally, at the end of my chemo treatments, I went to Fred Hutch for stem cell collection that I've had 'in the bank' but have thankfully never had to cash in. Finally, my still wonderful nurse friend that I see weekly at church became a cancer nurse at where? Fred Hutch.
I'm thankful for each of you and the place you have in my life. I can't think of too many better causes. And as my lovely CPA wife reminds me, it's tax deductible - so whatever you give benefits you as well :)
Prior to the ride two years ago I had done nothing like this. It has been wonderful experience. The last two years through the generosity of so many of you, have been able to raise over $7000 in the 50 mi ride!! This year I'm going for the $100 mile ride with my good friend and freak of cycling nature Scott Harang. Let's go for $5000 this year! Remember I'm old! I need all the encouragement I can get! I've also taken over leading what was formerly the Esterline team. Together we're shooting to raise $10,000 as a team!
Please give as much as you are able to this great cause! Please also look into company matching, many companies will match giving that you might make.
It's time for us to put cancer in its place. Behind us. Ride with me, donate to my ride, and tell others about Obliteride. Fred Hutch is a world leading cancer research facility.