SEATTLE, Aug. 5, 2015
riders will cycle through dozens of local communities on Aug. 8 and 9, 2015, raising critical funds to help Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
“We’re urging people to come join the fun and cheer us on,” said Amy Lavin, Obliteride’s executive director. “Even better, come ride with us! There’s still time to sign up.” People interested in participating can still sign up to ride or donate at Obliteride.org.
Standing at the Start Line at Fred Hutch felt just right—the chute filled with people ‘propelling’ science forward at the very place the science happens. Add the stories we heard from our survivors, bone marrow donors, transplant recipients, family members and mighty 4th grader Ian
, and we had all the inspiration we needed to ride over 60,000 miles this past weekend.
First week of training done. One success, one … “better luck next time.”
The farther you live from Seattle, the more the cyclist-friendly roads begin to disappear. Luckily, our home is near the Interurban Trail
. The trail follows the route used by the former Interurban Trolley
that ran between Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood and Everett in the early 20th century until being abandoned in 1939.
“My wife is my hero,” says Kevin Reinkensmeyer. “After seeing what she went through with the surgery and recovery. The whole process was really hard on her and her body – and still is.”
He’s referring to Joanne Reinkensmeyer’s decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carries the BRCA1 gene mutation which dramatically raises her risk of cancer. She was tested for the inherited gene after her mother and sister were diagnosed with breast cancer. To reduce her risk even further, she’s planning on having a hysterectomy as well.
Chris Nichols celebrated the tenth anniversary of his final cancer treatment this past April. The Tacoma man was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma when he was 28 years old, while working as an Army nurse at Joint-Base Lewis McChord. He received his initial care at Madigan Army Medical Center and ultimately underwent radiation treatment and an autologous stem cell transplant through the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
"We don't know ..."
A cancer patient hears these words too many times during their treatment. "We don't know what caused it. We don't know if this treatment will work. We don't know if your cancer will come back. We don't know how this treatment will damage your body." Patients and their families learn all too quickly how much is still unknown about cancer, even after decades of research trying to unravel this complicated disease.
Like any 6-year-old, Ian Gunnell was excited and a little nervous on his first day of school at Vinland Elementary in Poulsbo. First grade was a big deal. But suddenly, that milestone turned into the beginning of something much bigger and unexpected—the fight for Ian’s life.
Guest post by Cyrus Fiene
My motivation behind riding in Obliteride stems from losing my mother to cancer in 2013. Witnessing the pain and suffering she endured over nearly five years is something that no one should ever have to go through. That is the reason I ride, and the reason I have created a unique opportunity to support Obliteride and Fred Hutch research.
I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in July of 2012. I was devastated knowing there is no cure. My mom was diagnosed with the same cancer in 2001. She died one month later and I was sure my life would end like hers. Fortunately, advances in research at places like Fred Hutch have allowed me to live a very full and active life with cancer for nearly three years.
The diagnosis of cancer is personal. Suddenly there is urgency to my life.