On my mom's side of the family I was the first, and only, boy born in my generation. Based on the stories I heard, my grandfather, Roger Curtin, (my mom's dad), had immense joy in dreaming about the things I would do. He was an avid Husky Football fan and I was dressed in the purple and gold as an infant. He dreamed that I would become a starting linebacker for the Huskies and loved seeing that I was over the 90th percentile in size as a baby. Before I can remember, he passed away from skin cancer at the age of 54. The silver lining of his passing turned out to be one of the greatest blessings in my life. Soon after his death my parents moved in with my widowed grandma to save for the house they live in now. They built that house with a mother-in-law addition where my grandma still lives with them.
My grandmother's (who I call Halmi) story rivals that of Cinderella. She was born in Seoul, Korea. She grew up in an abusive household where she was treated badly by her father, step mother and step-sisters. At the young age of 12 she ran away from home and became a servant for a family that treated her well and educated her. Several years later after the Korean war, while working as a servant she met my grandfather. In 1959 they married and she came to America for the first time in 1960, soon after giving birth to my mom. After serving in the military, my grandfather worked in Seattle in construction, installing commercial refrigeration systems . They raised a family of two girls and a boy, my mom, Aunt Kathy and uncle Ron. This history is only the tip of the iceberg of Halmi's accomplishments, but that is another story.
With both of my parents working full time, Halmi was like a second mother and she instilled my deeply rooted values of hard work and appreciation for all the opportunities I have had.
Several years later when I was in fourth grade my Uncle Ron was diagnosed with and ultimately died of liver cancer. His loss was devastating to our family but one result was that I became very close to his two daughters, my cousins Ashley and Darci. Our friendship is very strong and important to me. These last couple years I dedicated my Obliteride fundraising and bike ride to my grandfather and Uncle Ron, which has been a galvanizing experience for my family.
This last year my Aunt Kathy, the youngest of Halmi's children, was diagnosed with uterine cancer. On June 21st she passed quietly in her sleep. This year I am dedicating my Obliteride campaign to my Aunt Kathy and Halmi. Halmi thankfully is a cancer survivor herself and was diagnosed and treated for uterine cancer at the age of 26. She has suffered the effects of cancer through the loss of her husband, son and now daughter. Halmi, who recently celebrated her 80th birthday, suffered a stroke the night of Thanksgiving and is fighting her own battle getting back to health. The cure for cancer is right around the corner and is going to save so many lives, even though it wasn't in time for those closest to me. This year's Obliteride is more important than ever for myself, my family and my friends to come together and obliterate cancer.
HOW TO SUPPORT:
There are three ways to support the Obliteride. The first way is to tell others about the ride and spread the word. The second is to strap in and join the ride taking place the weekend of August 13th. You have the option of riding anywhere between 10 and 150 miles. The third way is to become a financial sponsor by donating funds to my ride. Donations can be submitted online through my personal page:
There is also an offline donation form available.