I never planned to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. I am one of the nearly 200,000 men diagnosed with the disease each year. I recently had a conversation with my 10-year-old granddaughter about planning. In a grand-fatherly way I told her how one always starts with a plan, then implements the plan, moves on to evaluating how the plan is working and then refining the plan based on results. Never does a plan remain static but rather needs to be adapted based on our learnings. Well, prostate cancer was never in my plan, but I am learning how to adapt based on this unfortunate disease. When I recently lost one of my best friends Dick Schade, my long-time friend/college roommate/fraternity brother/bike ride companion/coastal Maine sea kayak partner of 55 years to prostate cancer I hadn't bargained for fighting this disease myself. And sadly, Dick was one of over 34,700 men who are projected to die from prostate cancer this year. This disease spares no one and it's why I'm asking for your help. Will you consider donating to my fundraising ride?
During my chemotherapy journey over the past 3 months (I’ve somehow managed to fit in 100 miles/month during this difficult time), I have been thinking of ways to help others deal with this bump in the bike trail. Being an avid biker and having ridden 25+ miles last year in the Eastern Trail Maine Lighthouse Tour, I thought it would be great if I could use that event to encourage my friends, family and acquaintances to donate to a 501(c)3 charity that focused on helping educate and eliminate prostate cancer. I found ZERO Prostate Cancer as my charity. I was particularly impressed by their vision statement: “Imagine a future with zero prostate cancer deaths and an end to pain and suffering. Our vision is Generation ZERO – the first generation of men free from prostate cancer.” To learn more about your own risks for prostate cancer and the programs that your gift to ZERO Prostate Cancer supports please visit zerocancer.org. ZERO is a four-star ranked nonprofit organization that gives 85 cents of every dollar raised directly to the cause.
Before I even had an opportunity to sign up for this year’s event my younger daughter, Katie, thought of a wonderful birthday present after I was first diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer. Always the optimist and supporter, she signed me up for the Maine Lighthouse Tour 40-mile event and even created a team we would ride for – A Wee Ride… For those of you wondering how she came up with that crazy name – it originates from our father/daughter trip to New Zealand while she was doing a semester abroad in Australia. It seemed the Kiwi’s had a term for any “minor” event one undertook – a wee hike, a wee kayak paddle (we did both) – you get the idea.
So, I end my personal story with a simple request. Please consider making any donation you can to ZERO Prostate Cancer via this website to help end prostate cancer. The Wee Ride Team will ride for Prostate Cancer on September 10 and if you aren’t able to join our team, then PLEASE donate to help encourage Katie and me on. THANK YOU!