On January 23rd and 24th Kim and I rode in Gaylord for the Pink Ribbon Riders.
We had a great weekend riding and spending time with some very nice people. This weekend the attendance was down but everyone’s spirits were high.
Before the event started on Friday night, Kim & I hooked up with Bill & Chris Green and had dinner. Afterwards, we all went to Friday night’s event from 8-10.
This is a story from a young man Jodie McKay founder of the Pink Ribbon Riders met in the lobby by chance this weekend. He asked if he could sit with us on Friday evening. We had no idea who he was as we had not seen him before. His name is Brendon Smith and this is his story in his own words:
Roughly 20 years ago, I went in for a routine check-up with my doctor regarding a mass that I had developed on my right breast about the size of a golf ball. Due to my age, the doctor made the decision to monitor it for 6 months to see if it would go away on its own. Thinking it was more than likely just a growth spurt. After the six month period, the mass had still not changed and I was sent to see a surgeon to have it removed. It was supposed to be a quick outpatient procedure. However that was not the case. I woke up in a hospital bed upset because I was told I would have to stay for them to run more tests.
The mass that had been removed tested positive for breast cancer. While I didn’t know much about breast cancer, I did know that men weren’t supposed to have it, or so I thought. I was in the hospital for just under a week going thru every test they could think of to figure out how this had happened:
Six weeks later I was back for a second surgery. This time to remove the lymph nodes out of my right arm. The doctors were looking to see if the tumor had spread. I had twenty-three lymph nodes removed and out of those twenty-three four of them tested positive for cancer. Meaning my tumor was malignant and had started spreading. Because of my age the doctors decided not to put me through chemo or radiation feeling it would do more damage to the rest of my body. They were confident that they had been able to remove everything.
Looking back, I realize now that I had it pretty easy. I have seen so many people go through this fight and have it a thousand times worse. I share my story because of how unique it was and to try and raise awareness that it can happen to anyone. I was a male diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of eleven years old. Don’t think it can’t happen to you, Get checked out and encourage others to do the same.”
WOW! This is not a typo this boy was eleven years old. Brendon did not just jump up and say I want to print this story. I had a conversation with him and he agreed if this could help just one person it is worth printing. He is a very modest and very polite young man. He left out the part that he was the 5th person in the world and the 1st person in the United Stated to ever have this done at his age at that time. ½ of 1% of breast cancer is in males.
Saturday morning we all lined our sleds up in the parking lot of the Eagles Lodge and set off for the trails. Mike Leppek joined our group and Bill Green led 8 of us on a 100 mile adventure. Bill found us some very good riding places. To and from town for about 8 miles, let’s just say you had better be awake.
Saturday night after dinner the auctions, raffles and awards got going. Bill Green, as a group leader had to get up and tell his story how Chris’s sled broke down and he left her at a gas station.
Bill won the Booby prize for best Trail Leader Story of the Day. (Chris was picked up and the sled was retrieved, all is well).
Mike Leppek got into a bidding war with some guy for an autographed football by Barry Sanders. I’m not saying how much Mike paid – but I think you could at least get to Las Vegas for the same price. Kim worked the room and sold the remaining calendars.
What a great bunch of guys to put a pink tutu on and have your picture taken for this calendar. Without you there wouldn’t be a calendar. Chuck Comstock, Kevin Coghill, Dave Gabriel, Merle Fitch, Marty Foster, John Newman, Jeff Obear, Ralph Yaney, Anthony & Bill Plewa and Ron Schroeder.
Dave & Char Pike again made a large donation to mine and Kim’s personal page for the PRR.
Thank You Dave & Char.
Also, a very big thank you to all who bought calendars, raffle tickets and 50/50 tickets.
With all the good that comes out of an event like this the reality is – during the summer yet another regular at the PRR lost her battle with this terrible disease.
The best part is on the Snomads end – from calendars, charity funds and personal fund raising, the total raised this year was $1,277.83. The total for the Pink Ribbon Rider’s two day event was $27,186.64.The $1277.83 from Snomads means 2 & 1/2 $500.00 gift cards can be given to patients who need it right now.
This would not be possible without all of the hard work from the Snomads who choose to be involved and give up their time for people most of us do not even know. I think that says it all