Steve is no stranger to cancer.
His first experience with it was after oldest daughter had just been born. His mother was planning to travel from Washington to Texas to see her new granddaughter, even though she hadn’t been feeling well. Before traveling, she saw her doctor who recommended she saw specialist. The prognosis was stage 4 melanoma, with not much time left. His mother passed away five months later.
Three years ago his baby sister was diagnosed with brain cancer, Glioblastoma Multiforme. She went through all the treaments; chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Sadly, she lost her life 10 months later, leaving behind her husband and three young children.
Earlier this year, Steve’s 12 year-old daughter was having stomach pain. The pain continued after trying two types of antibiotics and it wasn’t until his wife suggested a sonogram that revealed a large mass. Further testing revealed stage 3 ovarian cancer. According to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, only 1.2 percent of females younger than 20 are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Consumed with tests, surgery and chemotherapy for the first five months of 2013, the initial results indicate the treatments have been successful for his daughter.
Who is Steve Riding For?
Steve is not only righting for his mother, sister and daughter, he is riding for others to show someone cares.
Steve first heard about the Pan Ohio Hope Ride in March, when his friend, Dave Riel from Dayton asked to create a team in honor of Steve’s daughter. Steve’s response? Absolutely yes, and team Kaylee’s Krew was born. Steve began researching what the Pan Ohio Ride was about after talking with Dave. A week later, he spoke with Dave asking to fly out from Texas to Ohio to participate. Without a bicycle, in the middle of treatments for his daughter and not having ridden a bike in more than 30 years, Steve wasn’t sure what he was getting himself into.
What inspired Steve to join the Pan Ohio Hope Ride? The cause of the event, riding for those who aren’t able, raising funds for the American Cancer Society, and the adventure of cycling 328 miles in four days across Ohio. Like many other riders participating in POHR, this is Steve’s first organized ride. POHR has motivated Steve to look for more ways to be involved in the giant effort called The Fight Against Cancer. “It’s going to take many armies to win this battle and I am pleased to be part of the fight. The amount of effort from so many dedicated people who make this event possible gives hope that this is a battle which can be won.”
Steve’s Fundraising Tips
Steve manages a large mailing list of people who have been following the story with his sister and daughter for the last several years. So many people from all over the world are affected by cancer. When he told them he was riding to support families going through the battle and asked for their help, they responded. He is pleased with the amount of money raised and especially pleased with the number of people who have donated; more than 200. Steve’s one and only technique: Tell your story and ask.
Training Advice for New Riders
Although Steve is a new POHR rider himself, his training advice includes:
- If your goal is to ride a long ride like POHR, quickly get your riding level up to 25 miles, ride often, and learn to enjoy the ride.
- Understand that as you increase your mileage, it will be normal for your butt to get sore. It does get less uncomfortable if you keep it up.
- Give yourself enough time to train. The amount of time varies for each rider and Steve is not sure how much is enough for others, especially since he was only able to really train on the bike for six weeks prior to POHR.This might not enough but he had logged a lot of running miles before starting, which has helped.
A New Love for Cycling
Steve has really enjoyed getting involved in biking. POHR gave him a goal and the motivation to train. He is hooked on cycling and hopes to find other opportunities to ride and raise money for the fight against cancer. Every time he rides, he praises God that my legs and lungs still work. He knows that many people around the world would love to ride but are physically not able; his sister would have loved to ride across Ohio.
“I often think that I ride and run simply because I can; many others cannot and, while I can, I will keep going.”
Stay tuned for a follow and hear about Steve’s Pan Ohio experience.