My wife, Patti, my daughter Jenny and I are participating again this year in the annual Obliteride bicycle ride which raises funds for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center here in Seattle. We rode in the first Obliteride when I was three months post stem cell transplant which was part of my treatment for multiple myeloma. The 25 mile ride would ordinarily have been a moderately challenging spin of the wheels for me, but I was not sure that I could finish having been horizontal on my love seat for the better part of the preceding year from the effects of chemotherapy and the transplant itself. We were able to cross the finish line together and this was more than gratifying. Time to get in shape for this year's ride.
We have ridden in all the Obliteride events and this will be our seventh Obliteride. Obliteride is growing each year. My friend Peter Roy Byrne joined us in the ride 2 years ago and our daughter Jenny rode with us the past 2 years. Dan Crawford signed up last year on his recumbent bike and he and his wife will ride this year.
May 8 marked the six anniversary of "Engraftment Day", when the stem cells started growing in my bone marrow and so far so good. Still taking life one day at a time and grateful for every day. I owe my life to the researchers and care providers at the Hutch and cannot thank them enough. I recently had my illness reassessed and got a good report with what my oncologist called still a near complete remission. My grandson Brendan, age 6, has a new TREK bike and my plan is for him to ride with us when he is old enough and for our granddaughter Addison, age 4, to be part of our team and ride with us in years to come.
Cancer is not an illness for sissies. The maintenance chemotherapy I receive has all sorts of side effects. My energy level is still not great. My immune system still needs help, but life is good.
Please consider donating to Obliteride. Better yet, get on your bike, sign up to ride and join us. Cancer is such a personal thing for me and my family, but it will affect each of you in one way or the other in your lifetime. In this past year several close friends have been diagnosed with cancer. I have tried to help each of them as they navigate through their courses of treatment. I hope research will provide more answers re causes and treatment for cancers.
Best Wishes and Thanks to All of You for Your Love and Support,