#WeAreTdC

DSC05125Why I Ride

I ride to remember; those here, those gone and those who will ride on after me. Cancer is the struggle of the 21st century, its affects us each in our own way but it is also one of the best reminders. Through this battle, we are brought back to the simple things in life and brought closer to the ones we love- the meaningless distractions we face in our busy lives simply fade away. I am fortunate that my mother survived her battle with cancer, and now we are closer than ever. This year, as it does every year, the Tour des Chutes will be sharing this message and making a difference where it counts: within our community, to the ones that are most dear to us.

I will not be able to make the ride this year, but I will be doing my own ride here in Nice, France in honor of the great experience and message that this wonderful event provides.

Ian Boswell
Sky Pro Cycling

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Cancer is a vicious cycle, one that affects each and every one of us at some point in our lives. It’s also a heartbreaking metaphor for life. Our manifold interactions with this world, at once so definite and so ambiguous; our genetic makeup, that which both brings us into this world and that which threatens to throw us out just as quickly; and our complex interactions with each other, each influence this disease in innumerable and intangible ways. There are so many potential pathways, so many possible agents that it’s all too tempting to throw up our arms in defeat.

I ride alongside my dear friend and fellow brain tumor survivor, Gary Bonacker, in a poetic act of defiance towards the monstrous cycle that cancer looks to consume us with. We ride — hair flowing in the wind, eyes to the horizon, great friends alongside — with a shared vision. Cancer may consume our energy, steal our time, even take our very ability to mount the bike. But events like the Tour des Chutes prove that cancer will never break our spirits.

Dillon Caldwell, Bend, Oregon

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Why I Ride

Cancer has touched me in so many ways.  I’ve lost my mother and younger brother to cancer.  I have friends who either struggle with it themselves, or have family members who are.  No matter where you turn, you cannot escape the insidiousness of this disease.  So, I ride in memory of my mom and brother;  I ride in support of my friends who’ve also been touched by cancer;  and I ride for the myriad others who are surviving!

Paul O’Neal, Bend, Oregon

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Why I Ride

I am a cancer survivor. This term “cancer survivor” means anyone who has ever received a diagnosis of cancer. Man, woman or child:  Those who are being treated for cancer now are survivors. Those who are living cancer-free after treatment are survivors. We don’t like to use the term “cured” with cancer, as we never can know for sure. And those who are still living with cancer are survivors. We are forever changed by this diagnosis, mostly for the better, despite, or perhaps because of, the challenges and difficulties the fight against cancer has brought to us.Cancer survivors are everywhere. I do not know anyone who has not been touched by it, in their family or among their friends, if not themselves.

The annual Tour des Chutes is one day when we in Central Oregon can celebrate everyone we know who is a cancer survivor; And anyone who has passed on from cancer. Those we love. And those we admire. It is a wonderful day. It is a party on wheels. I ride in honor of all cancer survivors, past and present.

By-the-way, The Tour des Chutes supports the very  important and effective Survivorship Programs of the St Charles Medical and Cancer Center, and the LIVESTRONG.org programs across the nation and around the globe. Now how can you beat that?

Paul Van Camp, Bend, Oregon

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Why I Ride

I ride because I’ve known & loved my friend, Gary B. for 20 years and I work with oncology patients…they are truly amazing in their fight against cancer

Shelley RN

Medical Oncology

St. Charles Cancer Center

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Why I Ride

Although I only ride the 25 miler, it is feeling of accomplishment to finish that last hill.  The camaraderie of riders is unmatched, the spirit of the event and wonderful food make this event quite memorable and worthwhile.

Carol Schrader MPH, RD, CDE

Clinical Nutrition and Diabetes

St Charles Health System

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Why I Ride

“To be inspired by my patients”

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Why I Ride

I ride in the Tour des Chutes to show my children that there is joy and strength after surviving cancer.  Each year I stand by the finish line and feel so inspired as I watch survivors ride up after 75 or 100 mile rides-and see the strength that surviving cancer can bring.  Now, having the privilege of helping run the survivorship program at St. Charles, I meet these inspiring people every day.

My daughter, the young girl in this photo who rode with me at the first Tour des Chutes, is now a beautiful teenager.  The real celebration continues everyday that I can livestrong to watch her and her brother grow up.

Lizzi Katz

Survivorship Coordinator, St. Charles Cancer Center

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Why I Ride

This is an important event for me; specifically this year.  Like many others, cancer has touched my life in different ways.  My father died of cancer at age 50.  My sister has had to occurrences and is now cancer free.  This past October I was diagnosed.  I underwent a nine hour surgery at OHSU and am slightly over two months into my chemo.  My time on my bike is healing.  I cannot express the joy I felt cleaning my bike this weekend and hearing from my brother that he and his wife are flying up to Bend to ride with me.  I am not only going to survive but thrive.  The finish line will feel like my start over line.

Bill Baker

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Why I Ride

There’s not a more beautiful place in the US to ride.

Art McCracken

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Why I Ride

We rode because we knew it would help fund the St. Charles Survivorship Program…once we met Gary, it was obviously much more. Now we ride for Gary, my mother, my father, loved ones, and all those affected by this terrible disease. My family looks forward to TDC each July…see you soon!!!

Becky Geuin-Pollard

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Why I Ride

Having taken up cycling about 9 months ago, I was looking for an event to aim at. This one struck a cord because in the past year and a half both my father and father-in-law have been battling cancer … And like most families I know, they are the first in our extended families. Not only is Bend a great place for my first century, but the cause adds an extra layer of meaning.

Dave Preszler

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Why I Ride

Good friends we had, oh good friends we’ve lost along the way in this great future, you can’t forget your past so dry your tears I say.

Bike Around Bend

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Why I Ride

To honor my big sister. She fought the good fight, starting in september 2011. She lost the fight april 5, 2012.

Michelle Britt Lyman

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Why I Ride

I ride to honor my father who passed at age 50, my sister who’s a survivor after two battles and for myself, newly diagnosed and completing chemotherapy on May 5th! My bike is my freedom and my healing. I cannot wait to feel energized by those around me!

Bill Baker

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Why I Ride

I ride because I can make a difference. Biking is in my soul because of this ride. It was my first ever organized ride about 5 or 6 years ago and it is the motivation to get on my bike each spring.

Lisa Conner

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Just wanted to let you all know what a great ride you put on yesterday.  I can only imagine how much work goes into an event as successful as this.  The 100 mile route was beautiful and the food at the stops was just right – not over or under provided.  And whoever ordered the weather gets special kudos.

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This was my first time and I will be back next year! Thanks again for your hard work.

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I wanted to thank and commend you for the fabulous event of June 13th.  I am living in the Portland area and am always looking for organized bike rides (not races…) that I would enjoy while benefiting a worthy cause.  Cancer has affected my family so  those events that raise money in the fight have my priority.  I had never ridden the Tour des Chutes before but it fit the bill for what I was looking for…great cause, great location and the right distance (50 miles).  What I didn’t anticipate was the  ”personalness” of the event organizers and the participants.

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I’ll admit when I pedaled up to the event start, I kind of felt I was crashing a bit of a private party.  But when the young woman spoke , I was as  inspired, choked up and teary-eyed as everyone around me.  Her words got me up those last hills for sure .  I have participated in 7 Livestrong  cycling events in the past , but your event will now be the focus of my fund raising efforts from here on.  I am already looking forward to next year.

 

Send your ‘Why I Ride’ story to us at info@tourdeschutes.org

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