Today (D5 -Th, 7/26) was about Drew and Jack. These two young men are incredibly inspiring with their resilience, their resolve, their humor, their spirit, their aliveness. While fighting cancer.
|The morning began like most in camp - finding a back tag and dedicating the day's ride. This was my backtag for July 26.|
|Another RAGBRAI pass-thru town invaded by tens of thousands of cyclists.|
|YUMBO!!! Breakfast of Champions!|
Today's ride ended in Cedar Rapids, home to Jack's family. Jack's dad, Marty, has ridden with the team for several years. And when the route was announced with an overnight in their town, Marty told his wife that he wanted to host the team for the night. Jen agreed - with the caveat that she was not going be anywhere near! It was incredibly generous of Jack's family to make their home available for the team. In addition, they prepared an awesome meal for us this evening. Marty also arranged for the team to shuttle from his house to the Catholic HS in town. The school agreed to make their locker rooms available to Team LIVESTRONG. It was glorious! No rush, no lines, no crowds, no shower trucks! And that night, Marty set up a bus to take us downtown to the main RAGBRAI party and Counting Crows concert.
I'm not sure I can sufficiently describe Marty's, et al, generosity and hospitality nor adequately express my gratitude. Except to simply say "Thank You!". And I look forward to riding with you Marty in future RAGBRAIs.
Unfortunately, Marty was not able to join us on the ride this year. Jack, had had some complications, including near continuous seizures. Just prior to the start of the ride, Jack underwent brain surgery to end the seizures. He was in recovery while we were camping in his family's yard.
To get to know Jack, see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AF1j95WLJSo. You can also follow Jack's progress via this blog maintained by Marty and Jen (Jack's mom). If you want to be inspired by a true fighter, get to know Jack.
After dinner, during our team meeting, we had the opportunity to hear from Marty. He shared Jack's story and the family's story. LIVESTRONG has been an important part of their fight. Hearing their story was inspirational and affirming.
|Jack's Dad (and our generous host) sharing the family's story.|
When Drew was first diagnosed, he was given two surgical treatment options - 1) remove the lump and with it have to replace the bone with a cadaver bone or 2) amputate the leg. Drew made a decision that he wanted to live life to the fullest. For him that meant option 2. He golfs, plays basketball, and (yes!) rides a bike. A cadaver bone would be too brittle to allow him to be engaged in the activities he wanted to participate in.
|Drew had all of our attention. Eloquent and articulate young man.|
|Drew passed his leg around we could look at it. This is Tina examining it, and Matt next to her.|
|We also celebrated Tina's daughter's 18th birthday. It sucks that Katie wasn't here to celebrate it. (#EffCancer!)|