12 November

Why I am doing this – Ben Frisby

Here is my answer as to why I find myself on a bicycle, along with a couple of great friends, pedaling 4600K from Vancouver to Toronto during the winter to coincide with Movember. As with Jordan and Kevin, I have been personally affected by cancer. My dad, who to put it lightly is a rock in my life, was diagnosed with testicular cancer 15 years ago when I was only 11. It is difficult to put the feelings into words, but the worst part was watching the pain Pops had to go through telling me and my sister Kelly that he had been diagnosed. Dad has always done an exceptional job making sure everyone in the family is looked after – working long hours and giving up things that I can’t imagine all the while having a smile on his face. I remember not really being able to understand anything after I heard the dreaded “c” word.I could not focus when he talked about what his chances were or any of the other information he was trying to tell me. All I could think about is how difficult this was for someone who takes unbelievable pride in being able to provide for his family to be facing something potentially stronger than him. My family is on the lucky side and Pops survived, which my Mom has a big part to play in the “luck”. My Dad had told my mom when he first got the symptoms and she immediately made him go to the doctor. This saved his life. Although this is a movement for men’s health, I don’t think women or mo sista’s understand the massive role they play in promoting men’s health. As I said luckily Pops survived but a couple of years later my granny, Peg, passed away from colon cancer. She was a strong, smart and active woman who had raised 6 kids, but passed away just 3 weeks after being diagnosed.

Statistics was the class at university where I usually got my best sleep, but after being affected by cancer I started to read more information on men’s health and it really hit home. As indicated on the Movember website, testicular cancer is the second most common cancer, behind skin cancer, in young men aged 15-29 years. It is a highly treatable cancer with a 95% cure rate if treated early. The problem is that men, and young men in particular, are very reluctant to go to a doctor for an examination that is “below the waist.” It is estimated that this year, 940 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed in Canada. When the opportunity came to actually spread the word and raise awareness about these facts, to raise money for research, and to share our stories, I could hardly hold back my excitement. This is what keeps my legs pumping in the cold and up those hills – knowing that maybe this ride will prevent one more father from having to have the same discussion my Dad did with my sister and me.

 

Ben

mikey

Pops, Granny and I

 

mikkk

Where I get it from

 

photo (8)

I only needed to bike from Vancouver to Toronto to get the old man to shave his stash.

 

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 9.22.56 PM

Please share our stories and follow along as we continue to physically and emotionally give ourselves to this journey each day. Those who can contribute to our fundraising efforts, we appreciate your donations—every little bit counts and we need our supporters now more than ever. Donate athttp://www.mobro.co/moridecan

11 November

Remembering why we are able to ride

This morning at 11am I took a walk around the block to remember my grandfather. He was a tall, warm, family man with unwavering values and, like me, could never pass up the opportunity to insert a pun into the conversation (no matter how mediocre).

This morning at 11am I remembered him as I always do. I remembered going to his and my Oma’s home every Saturday morning to play ping pong and talk about how my soccer jersey was the same colour as the Dutch national team (where my Oma was born and raised). It had always been one of my favourite times of the week, spending quality time with them, and not just because they had lots of treats for my sister and I.

On this particular crisp, sunny morning in Thunder Bay my thoughts naturally drifted to this ride. . .

People often ask me: “Why are you doing this?”  Reflecting on this I realize there is a question that I have neither received nor pondered to date: “Why am I able to do this?”

How lucky are we to be in a position where we can drop everything, quite our jobs, fly across the country, cycle for 45 days without hesitation, without fear,and without regret. I am able to do this because people like my grandfather fought and died to provide us with these freedoms. Without their courage, sacrifice, and honour we, as Canadians, would not be in the position we are in today. We would not have been able to say we are from the greatest country in the world and my generation would almost certainly not have this sense of “I can do anything I want.”

I truly believe that I can do anything I want. That is a statement very few people in the world can say with full conviction and that is due,  in large part, to the sacrifices my Opa made and the values he instilled in me and my father.

Sitting here, in a warm living room in Thunder Bay as breakfast is prepared for me ( just one of the many acts of overwhelming hospitality we have experienced in our journey across the country) I feel more patriotic than I have ever felt. As a result I am more connected to my Opa, though he is no longer here.

So thank you Opa and thank you to all the patriotic men and women who boldly fought for what we as Canadian now call our own.

I leave you with my Opa’s final message to future generations in our family in a conversation he had with my uncle Steve:

My Opa… who I will never forget

“Hold in your heart a love of Canada, your home land, maybe your adopted home land, and serve Canada as best you can in whatever way the country needs you. Be it business or in the services or in the government, bearing in mind the fact  Canada’s forces now are a peace-keeping force and we will never be an offensive nation and we should certainly honor our service men in today’s forces because they act as aid to the civil power. And try to lead our lives in ways that will never again lead to war. Maybe the simplest message is that we need to learn to love and respect our fellow man and to work together for the common good.”

 

Lest we forget

 

Jordan

father

My dad, Opa and me. The two most influential Mo’s in my life.

Sporting our poppies at a speaking engagement at a Winnipeg middle school

Sporting our poppies at a speaking engagement at a Winnipeg middle school

9 November

A day in the life of a Mo Rider – November 7, 2013

My day began at 3:15am when I awoke from my own shivering. It was -10 outside of our RV and my sheet and comforter were apparently not going to cut it. I put on my wool socks, sweat pants, sweat shirt, and toque and went back to sleep.

6:43, two minutes before my alarm, I awoke out of habit and began making breakfast for the team. To give everyone some additional rest (and because it was still pitch black out) I operated using a head lamp.

Breakfast was oatmeal with all the fixins. My recipe is steal-cut oats, buckwheat, chia seeds, hemp hearts, blueberries, raw almonds, fresh apple and banana, dried cranberries and apricots, almond butter, Greek yogurt, almond milk, topped with real maple syrup. And to round out every breakfast, we have a Vega One Nutritional Shake, a multi-vitamin, and glutamine—an amino acid that helps aid recovery.

Breaky

Breaky

With breakfast prepared, I woke everyone with some music. This is, without a doubt, my favourite wake up song for the group:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zLx_JtcQVI

During breakfast we looked up the day’s weather forecast, route and logistics. Map my ride gives information on distance and elevation and the weather network provides us with the details on temperature, precipitation, and wind. Today’s route from Falcon Lake, MB to 60km East of Kenora, ON was 120km with rolling hills. It was to be -3 (feels like -6) in the morning; 0 (feels like -3) during the day; 20% chance of

After breakfast, we got ready for the day. Erin and Rob (our videographer) focused on RV cleanup/departure prep (water, sanitation, electricity, etc.) and the riders focused on stretching, changing, and preparing the food and drink for the ride. Today the gear was as follows for me: Bontrager wool biking socks with heat packs over the toes, Bontrager padded biking shorts, long tights, Under Armour winter long sleeve base layer, Lululemon light vest, Stormtech wind breaker jacket, a buff (a type of scarf), toque, yellow-lens Sundog sunglasses, winter five-finger gloves with a second pair of three-finger water-proof gloves overtop.

The gear

The gear

After limbering up, doing our morning “business”, and finishing a bottle of Vega pre-workout/Cytomax mix, we drove to the familiar shoulder of the #1 highway where we had ended the previous day’s ride. I prepared my two water bottles with Vega hydrator mix, and packed a Vega nutrition bar, a package of Welch’s real fruit gummies, and a banana into my jacket pocket for the road (after eating two cookies).

Road food

Road food

We jumped out of the RV, pulled the bikes off the incredibly difficult bike rack and did one final warm up before jumping on the bikes. Once we got our headphones in, music playing (Coldplay was my selection for today) and one last pre-ride pee in, we set out.

We took it slow, as we always do, to give our muscles an opportunity to settle into the motions we were about to repeat for more than four hours. The first 15-20 minutes of each ride are tough when the body isn’t warmed up yet. I often find myself shivering at the beginning before the blood begins to flow to the fingers and toes. Shortly after we took off, the snow transitioned from a light dusting to the heavier, more wet variety – not good.

About 45km into the ride, after our first rest, the road became very wet with the salt-melted snow puddling along the shoulder. The circumstances brought forth my least favourite dilemma as a cyclist. Do I follow directly behind the person in front of me to draft, but have salty water and gravel get flicked up into my face and mouth from their rear tire or do I swing out beside them and take the full brunt of the wind to my chest, increasing the energy I need to expend and the burn in my quads? After 60km or 70km I almost always choose the mouthful of seasoned highway debris.

At the 60km mark, we stopped for another pee/stretch/banana break; however, after getting back on the bikes my bike computer that tells me my speed, distance, time, etc. wasn’t working. I turned back and luckily found the magnet that should have been attached to one of my front spokes blending in perfectly with the pebbles on the side of the road. Road-side repairs are a reality for any long-distance ride; the key is to be prepared for them. Each of us has a bag beneath our seat with tools, a spare tube, etc. to ensure we are able to deal with whatever circumstances arise and we coordinate with Erin to make certain she isn’t more than 10-15 minutes away at any time. That said, doing repairs in the snow while huge trucks fly past, with your bare hands, becomes objectionable far sooner than 10 minutes in.

We hopped back on our bikes for the third 30km segment, where conditions became really difficult. Due to the wet snow, my toes and eventually my entire feet became frozen and numb. On top of that, an increasing soreness in my right glute and lower back were developing. After crossing into Ontario the uniformity of the plains quickly dissipated and were replaced by rolling hills that our bodies weren’t used to after two weeks of flat riding… and my legs were letting me know.

In these situations I am brought back to one of my favourite quotes that I often repeated to myself when I was training for my marathon last year, “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” I expect I will be repeating this mantra a few more times on this journey.

Despite all of the unpleasantness that exists in these conditions, we always make time to goof around a bit and snap a few photos.

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Photo opp

Lunch consisted of a fried egg sandwich with avocado, cheddar, and greens, a home-made powerball, a handful of grapes, a pear, three cookies and a Vega recovery shake. Yummy.

The final leg of the day’s ride seemed to pass relatively quickly with a slight improvement to the weather and lots of aesthetic distractions presented by the hundreds of lakes in Northern Ontario. We met Erin 30km later and did a comprehensive clean of the bikes and re-lubrication of the chain and gears.

We got in the RV and stripped off all our cold/sweaty clothes and jumped on our phones to check the day’s activity on our website and social media channels. Often this is a time where we debate fundraising strategy, talk about what we need to be doing more or less of, post pictures, write blog posts, send thank you emails, discuss upcoming media appearances, etc.

On this night, we were blessed with a donated motel room where we were able to take a hot shower and spend some time outside of the RV; always a welcome change.

For dinner, Erin prepared quinoa with ground turkey and veggies along with a green salad. I had three servings and two cookies for dessert. Three hours later, after catching up on all of the online activity, I was overcome with hunger and stormed the RV to eat the remainder of the night’s dinner, two cookies, a bowl of Greek yogurt and granola, and half a chocolate bar.

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Dinner (serving 2 of 3)

I finally got into bed around midnight and decided to close my computer two thirds of the way through writing this post. I was asleep 30 seconds later. I had forgotten to brush my teeth.

So there you have it. A day in the life of a Mo Rider.

- Jordan

Please share our stories and follow along as we continue to physically and emotionally give ourselves to this journey each day. Those who can contribute to our fundraising efforts, we appreciate your donations—every little bit counts and we need our supporters now more than ever. Donate at: http://www.mobro.co/moridecan

7 November

Why I Am Doing This – Kevin Shaw

Why would you put yourself through such physical stress? Why at this time of year? Why did you leave your job? Why not just donate and do your part that way? Why?

For each of these questions and many more that I get on a daily basis, both leading up to the ride and during, the answer is the same, my Grandfather. His name was Bachan Pall (Bubs), a first generation Canadian with his family hailing from India. He was 82 years old and within 1 year of learning he had cancer it progressed from his kidney’s throughout his body, affecting his liver, lungs and bone. Being the strong and silent man he was, never wanting to burden anyone with worries or concerns, he kept his cancer a secret until he couldn’t any longer – summer 2012. And sure enough, before summer was out, Bachan had passed.

When I learnt of the cancer and its severity I was overwhelmed with sadness. Not only was it devastating to know that time was short but it burned a fiery hot hole in my heart to see my grandfather look at me as though he let me down. He was a fighter and this was a battle he was losing. Having his strength, something that was a pillar throughout our family, stripped away by the cancer was as demoralizing as it got for Bachan, a pain he wore on his face. I wanted to be strong for him and I think I was for the most part but emotionally I was climbing a steep, icy hill – the kind you get in a bad dream where you are working your hardest but gaining no ground. I miss my grandfather very much. I think about the comical advice he would give me on this ride, something like, “couple hours in the cold ain’t going to hurt ya” or “ just make sure you have enough to eat”. Perfect advice unto itself but when delivered by a grandpa, it’s priceless.

In my youth my parents, Pam and Jim, were forced to work multiple jobs and I was lucky enough to have my grandparents there to help raise me. Consequently, I became very close with them both. What I learned was that my grandfather was not only tireless and hardworking but he was a selfless man. Always putting the needs of others first, no matter how big or small. Everything from providing my sister and I a hot lunch on an unannounced visit to rides from school or donating the majority of his CPP to the local hospital – these traits are something of a guiding star to me, a reason this ride is a must, a reason to ride for those who can’t.

To ride a bicycle across Canada undoubtedly has the ‘bucket list’ allure to it, especially when you have the chance to attempt it with your best friends. However, this journey, at this time of year, could not be completed or even attempted without knowing you had someone guiding your handle bars, watching over you and providing wind at your back. I know I have this.

Birthday parties with grandpa's are the best.

Birthday parties with grandpa’s are the best.

Studly

Studly

Bubs and I on commencement day

Bubs and I on commencement day

3 November

Kevin Visits The Hospital…Twice

It was day 12 of our gruelling 45-day journey. We had a full day of climbing, or at least if felt that way, with a 15-20 km/hr head wind for the full 120 km ride in -5 degrees and a flat tire thrown in for good measure. Nonetheless, we entered our third province, Saskatchewan, and spirits were high.

That evening when we arrived and sat down to dinner, my appetite didn’t come with me. Very unusual, especially considering the long day we just experienced. I laboured through half of the meal and then had to stop and lay down because of the beginning of some foreign stomach pains. Dozing for approximately two hours, midnight hit and the pain became unbearable in my abdomen – sharp, shooting, twisting pains for the next three hours with zero sleep, I knew the hospital was in my near future. My hope was to tough it out until the morning so everyone could still receive their much needed rest. However, sharing a bed with Jordan, this was not possible – he woke up a number of times and finally asked if I thought I needed to go to the hospital. I said yes and immediately jumped to my feet and ran to the washroom to vomit.

Luckily we were 5 km away from Swift Current Emergency Hospital, putting us in at about 4 am. I remained there, receiving two CT scans, one ultrasound and a series of vital tests. Everything came back negative and all signs pointed to normal health with the exception of free fluid in my abdomen and the undeniable pain and vomiting, only to be dulled by morphine and gravol. Roughly 14 hours after checking in I began to feel better, however, the doctor wanted to keep me overnight for monitoring. During this time I was restricted to clear liquids. Luckily Jello falls into this category and tided me over till the next morning.

Knowing the next morning the team would have to push on with or without me, it was important to have a handle on my circumstance. The doctor still had no diagnosis, but I felt 100% better than the morning before, so he allowed me to discharge myself. Not riding but tending to my weak body, I slowly began to introduce solid foods to my diet throughout the day and felt relatively normal. We arrived in Regina that evening and with a gourmet meal ready and waiting at a friend’s home, I dug in. My plan was to cycle the following day so I wanted to ‘stock up’ on the delicious spread…bad idea. Three hours after the meal, pains started again and another sleepless night ensued. And with a TV interview scheduled for 6:45 am (see interview here), my anxiety was high and the night was rough.

For the rest of the morning I couldn’t even think about eating, the pain was excruciating. Being so uncomfortable was not even the most discouraging part, it was not knowing what to do or what not to do to make things better.

Understanding that we were in a major city I made the choice to visit Regina General Emergency with the plan of not leaving until we had a clear diagnosis, so that I could get back on the road as soon as possible. The moment when I was standing in the RV and made the decision to stay behind is a moment I will never forget, full of sadness, anger and hope for an end to this road block.

Two hospitals, two days and just over 300 km of cycling missed, I was disappointed to say the least. The rest of the team left Regina for the day’s scheduled cycle and I reassured them I would catch up as soon as possible.

Four hours in the waiting room later, with my friends and family anxious of my second emergency visit, I was finally able to see a doctor. Between additional tests and collaboration with Swift Current General, the doctor landed on the following diagnosis:

Kevin increased his caloric intake too drastically which in turn damaged the lining of the intestine and caused there to be inflammation in the abdomen and free fluid to be present as well.

Sometimes called runners gut (not exactly scientific), this seems like a reasonable diagnosis with rest being the remedy with a monitored diet, neither of which are easy from the road as you cycle across the country.

Now I will be rejoining the team with a decent bill of health on Sunday, Movember 3rd in Brandon, Manitoba after missing five long days of cycling.

This was a frightening experience for me as I was left for a number of days with no answers and only ‘what-ifs’ to guide a few negative thoughts. The ride is more important than ever and I cannot wait to join the team again. Ben and Jordan have held down the fort and rode strong for the last five days, now it is time to regroup and head into the second half of the trip with full strength and reinvigorated excitement.

Swift Current General

Swift Current General

IV Drip for 26 hours

Feeling better after the first 14 hours

1 November

The worst day… so far. Brooks to Medicine Hat – October 27th and day 11.

Cold, windy, cold, daunting, cold, stupid, freezing and frustrating. That pretty much sums up today. All day long, I could not get this scene from the Simpsons movie out of my head (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfpPArfDTGw). To give you the specs of the day, it started off with our first sighting of snow, then it went downhill from there as we experienced 35km cross winds, rain, sleet, and snow again topped off top with a bout of freezing rain. We actually had to end our day when our front and rear derailleur’s froze over, making it impossible to change gears. That brought us to 115km – a hard earned day.

It’s days like today that remind me why I was so interested in this ride to raise $100,000 and awareness for men’s health. And it’s days like today that can motivate a man to visit his doctor. When you are faced with a challenge like this, there is not much room for anything else – whether it is doubt, fear, or how we are going to achieve our goal in just 45 days. You start off intensely focused on your pace, the weather, the riders behind you, your music, and the trucks that pass bye just a little too close. Then there comes a point when your mind can’t keep up and it slowly fades everything out. It’s like a kind of meditation. Your thought slows down as you rest your gaze on the far-off horizon. I like to take these opportunities to reflect and get lost in my deepest thoughts. Today, I found myself thinking about the unbelievable support we have had for our ride, all the remarkable people who have done everything in their power to help, and how our fundraising efforts may help men and their families in their battle against cancer.

No matter how tough the day was, I know it is nothing compared to the suffering one goes through during cancer diagnosis and treatment. And I know it is nothing compared to the pain of losing a loved one. This is where we must find the strength it takes to never give up.

November 29th here we come.

The cold

The back wheels

The back wheels

Tough to move

Tough to move

Time to stop when your bike is forming icycles

Time to stop when your bike is forming icycles

27 October

The Rockies Made Easy

It took us eight days to make our way from Vancouver to Calgary. It felt like two months. So much has happened since our countdown at the Vancouver Convention Centre, but one thing is for certain: this journey has gotten off to an amazing start.

It was as early as Day 2, making our way from Hope to Merrit, that we realized the gravity of the task that we had set out to achieve. Anyone who has driven the Coquihalla will have a sense of what we went through. Within the first 40km we climbed over 1,200 meters in elevation. On a flat road with minimal wind, the three of us can get into a rotation that moves at about 35-40km/hr. Many of the climbs we faced between Hope and Kamloops slowed us to a 7-10 km/hr crawl. Add to that the signature burn of the lactic acid build up that comes along with a big climb and you get a recipe for demoralization.

However, despite the ups and downs (both literal and figurative), the Rockies were truly an exceptional experience; for me especially as I had never been through the Rockies before! (I know, I’m a terrible Canadian). Outside of a few foggy mornings, we had the best weather a trio of novice bikers destined for Toronto could ask for. And when the sun is shining, the looming presence of the Canadian Rockies is impossible to beat. With every turn, came a new and even more stunning view of snow-capped mountains, vast evergreen forests, and meandering rivers and streams. The days were long and the terrain was tough, no doubt, but when you are surrounded by that much beauty, it isn’t hard to let is distract you from the burning quads, tender butt, frozen fingertips, sore lower back, aching neck, numb toes, and chaffed “underside”.

It was in the pursuit of a better vantage point for one of these vistas, that we came across another way to alleviate aches and pains and a huge part of what this ride is all about.

Approximately halfway through our 140km ride between Sicamous and Canyon Hot Springs (~35km past Revelstoke), we came across a small red cabin overlooking a shimmering lake that quickly shot up into massive stoney mountains. Just as we were discussing whether to sneak onto the property to snap a picture a short, stocky woman came out of the cabin. In the spirit of this ride and just going for it, we asked her if we could come down onto her landing and take a few pictures. Not only was she completely ok with the idea, but she encouraged us to go out to her gazebo (where the best pictures could be taken) and stay as long as we liked!

Five minutes after we stripped off a few layers and starting basking in the crisp sunlight on her deckchairs, listening to the water wash lightly up and back along her small shore line, she once again emerged from her cabin and said, “I’m so sorry, but would you guys like a coffee?” We, of course, accepted, not having had a coffee yet on our journey and none of us feeling any need to rush back into our saddles.

When she we returned with three coffees, we had an opportunity to share with her what we were doing and why we were doing it. Not only, was she touched by our endeavour, but Paula had also been very recently impacted by men’s health issues. As it turned out, the cabin that we had come across, had been her father’s for many years. However, after a four-year battle with Parkinson’s, he past away only three months ago. Paula, on the surface, came off as a fairly “tough” lady; however, when speaking about her father her voice began to tremble and her sentences began to shorten. It was incredibly touching, having this person, who we had only met 10 minutes before, open up in such a vulnerable way in front of three young guys with moustaches loitering on her property. But it was those very moustaches – those straggly, sparse, infantile moustaches that made Paula feel like she could talk about how men’s health had impacted her.

At the end of the conversation she open her wallet, pulled out a $50 bill and wish us a sincere “good luck.”

You see, for me, it is not the beautiful views that are going to carry through the remaining 3,600km of this journey across the country, it is the people that we will meet and share our stories with along the way that will alleviate my pains and push me on when going gets tough.

So thank you Paula, for making the Rockies seem easy and thank you for supporting the Moustache Ride Across Canada.

Jordan

IMG_1852

Day 2 lunch break

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Classic Rockies biking shot

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Me having a moment with Lake Louise

 

IMG_1943

Kevin enjoying the view from Paula’s gazebo

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Ben enjoying the view in other ways…

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Our thank you note to Paula (unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to get a picture with her)

 

19 October

The Route of All Good

Friends, family and moustached bandits – the anticipated route is as follows with all major cities set in stone but timing up still has some play in it. If you happen to be in or have a connection to any of the following cities, we would love to hear from you as a hot shower, laundry and good company is always welcomed!

First Half

Second Half

Comment, share or just let us know we are crazy but there is one thing that is for sure – we are getting to Toronto and we are doing it on bicycles.

Remember to support us at www.moridecanada.ca or, better yet, sign up at www.Movember.com and join our team “The Moustache Ride across Canada”.

3 October

Why I am doing this – Jordan Gildersleeve

Without even having travelled one kilometer for this ride, it has already become the journey of a lifetime. Never in my life have I been so passionate, so engaged, and so enveloped with something.

So why am I doing it? There are a many reasons, but the reason that I continue to come back to when I’m four hours into a training ride, emailing sponsors at 2am, or just lying in bed before go to sleep, is to fight back against a disease that has significantly impacted me and my family.

10 months ago, my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. When my parents told me, they had to do it over Skype, as I live in Toronto and they live in Vancouver. Watching their faces, I quickly recognized that something wasn’t right. And when my dad eventually worked up the courage to tell me, I could tell it was one of the most difficult things he has ever had to do. I know that he has taken a lot of pride is ability to provide, protect, and be there for his family (and he should), but this was something that he could not protect us from. I can only image how scary that must have been for him.

My reaction, believe it or not, was not an overly emotional one. The reason was that ever since that phone call, I never believed anything other than it would be totally fine. He would be totally fine. I could not physically comprehend any other outcome. He would tackle it like any other challenge in his life, and he would succeed.

About three months ago he had surgery to remove the tumors and shortly after that he was on a reduced chemo treatment and beginning to get back to his regular routine.

It was around that time, that we found out that doctors had found a tumor on my grandfathers’s colon.

Imagine. My mom had just supported my dad for six months: through the chemo, through all the sleepless nights waiting for news from the doctors, cancelling plans and trips, being a source of positive energy for him and my sister and I. Then she finally feels like she is passed it, like there is light at the end of the tunnel, only to be sent straight back into darkness. I could not stop thinking about what it was like for her to find out that her father may have to go through the same pain that her husband had just endured. I can’t even fathom it.

So why am I doing this? Over the last 10 months, there was very little I could do, especially from the other side of the country. Of course I could be there for them as much as possible: call all the time, visit when I could, try to be as positive and enthusiastic as possible, but there was nothing I could do to influence the overall outcome. And if you knew me, you would know that not having control over a situation is not something I am comfortable with.

This ride is something I can control. This ride is a chance for me to stand up against a disease that has attacked two of the most important men in my life. This ride is a chance for me to look at all the reasons that exist to not to do something and put them to the side in support of a cause that is greater.

I still can’t influence their specific outcomes, (although both are now on track to remission) but I can spread awareness about the prevalence of men’s diseases like prostate, testicular, and colon cancer and I can raise funds that will go directly toward improving recognition, treatment, and care of men with these diseases. If I can prevent one family, from having to go through what my family has been through, it is impossible not to call that success. My hope is to have this ride reach success many times over.

Help us achieve success.

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Me and Dad. See the resemblance?

3 generations

Me, my dad, and his father on the soccer pitch

 

Dad and leanna

My Dad and my sister. I too hope to have a stache like that one day

Mom and Dad (2)

Mom and Dad as young lovers. Still happily married 30 years later.

 

 

Jordan

BUY ME!