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Kick Cancer to the Kurb Tour Ready for Launch…

Hello everyone and thank you for checking in…

So why is the Kick Cancer to the Kurb tour any different than any other yearly cycling theme roundup of events I have done in the past ?

NEWS FLASH: It isn’t.

 That’s what makes the 2016 Kick Cancer to the Kurb Tour special.  Despite what can only be described as an eye opening 2015 cycling season,  the 2016 riding season will continue to honor and help bring to light the battle of ALL THOSE battling cancer.  Please take note of the “all those” emphasis because it’s important.

Nothing has changed. This is not one of those New Years transformations or some re marketing of what we believe or what we stand for. No, it’s the same me, only with maybe a revitalized understanding of how important it is that every cancer story counts.  As one of my followers commented in 2015, “you saw the dark side in 2015 , in 2016 it’s time to help to bring to light all cancer stories.”

While the list of events is still being worked out, I promise all my friends, family, supporters and followers the fight will continue,  Whether it’s fighting for children with cancer, young adults, adults or seniors all cancer stories will be respected.  While there are others out there that seek to find only the cancer stories they can financially benefit from while ignoring all others, I assure you my belief remains unchanged.

The fight will continue because  every cancer story should be respected, every cancer story has a human factor and above all every cancer story counts.

It promises to be a heck of a ride…

Thanks for checking in….

K2K2016

 

 

 

Big Goals for the RIGHT Reasons……

Greetings everyone and thanks for checking in….

It’s hard to believe it’s already October, the leaves will be changing soon and the cycling season will be coming to an end. Actually it never really ends, we just have to find more creative ways to ride as the daylight hours become the biggest challenge.

There are some great events happening in the upcoming weeks and months in the cancer fight….

One of Cyclists4aCause greatest allies, Nick, will be riding in the LiveStrong Challenge in Austin Texas next week. While I have never met Nick, I can state without hesitation that he is the real deal when it comes to the cancer fight. I would strongly recommend reading is section in the WHY WE RIDE on Cyclists4aCause site.

I continue working with United in GRACE organization in the fight against cancer and helping to bring awareness and increased government funding for children’s cancer and other cancer related initiatives.  Members of the UIG Team attended CureFest in Washington DC this past month and helped to bring attention to the children’s cancer issue.

I’m looking forward to 2016 CureFest and not only representing United in GRACE but also helping to bring awareness together with all the other individuals and organizations that will be present. I have a feeling each year this event will only increase in popularity and with it national attention.

Like many organizations we had our 2016 planning meeting and there are some great events planned for next year. Right now, we are working on a Toy Drive for the holidays. In addition, we are also collecting gift cards, specifically ITUNES gift cards that we will deliver to the kids at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA.  This is the 5th year United In Grace will be spearheading the Piles of Smiles Toy drive and any assistance either as donations or directly to United in GRACE fund raising page would be greatly appreciated.

One of the main reasons I remain committed to UIG is that this team understands the battle that we have ahead. Many organizations have lost sight of the reason they are in the fight. I can promise you that United in GRACE will never lose sight of that fact, never. Yes, we are a small organization with big dreams but one in which understands the importance of the mission we have undertaken.

I would encourage any size donation to help us build this organization, I further promise that every donation and EVERY DONOR will be appreciated and respected , not for the donation itself, but the belief that together we can build this organization to help those that need it most.

Thanks everyone for checking in…..

Steve and Deb

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Cyclists 4A Cause Update

Thanks for Checking in….

There are still some great events coming up in 2015 that I am looking forward to participating in all in an effort to help bring awareness to the Cancer Fight. We are already looking at some perspective 2016 events necessary to support the Kick Cancer to the Kurb 2016 Tour  including events in Charlotte NC, Virginia Easter Shore (MS 150) , Suffolk VA and other areas of the country still not yet determined.

Whatever your cause is , it’s never too late to help in the fight by becoming involved and participating anyway you can.

Please continue to check back often as we will continue to update the event calendar

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Find Your Passion…Get Involved…

As many of you know, I fund raise year round for multiple organizations that Deb and I believe best support & best align with our own ideals in providing support and assistance to the cancer community.  We believe the cancer battle is too important to sit idly by waiting for the next  “big event”  to occur while individuals and families are devastated by this disease 24/7/365.

Deb and I still believe this is a fight worth fighting and that each person’s cancer story is worthy  of telling , hearing, sharing, and supporting.  Many of these stories touch us all differently. I often get asked “Why don’t you just pick one ?”…. Each organization provides differently to the cancer community based on their mission and their target audience.  Regardless,  we also believe that collectively every organization whether working in partnership with others or independently touches even more of the cancer community and that is indeed a good thing.

The cancer community is huge and it needs more organizations but MORE importantly the right kind of organizations and even more critical the right individuals to carry their individual mission forward.  This includes not only the organization’s leadership and staff but also those individuals who participate in those organizations events or who volunteer their time and energy in support of.

Over the course of the last year I have met some of the most passionate cancer program/services providers that I have had the honor to meet.  Not only is their individual passion and dedication to the cancer fight addictive , collectively they are changing lives of those impacted by cancer in the process and they are doing it every day.

I have stated this before and I continue to restate, I will continue to find a cause I believe in, I will continue to throw all my energy and passionate into doing something good for OTHERS and at the end of the day , I will NOT feel guilty about doing it.

Please consider finding a cause you believe in and find an organization that you believe in that best reflects your own passion for it.  Get involved…..

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Thank you !!

Non Profits…Donors Please Do your Homework…

Greetings everyone and thank you for checking in….

June is currently underway and so is the Great Cycle Challenge to help raise awareness and funds for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF) .  There has been a lot of discussion in the news recently regarding 4 cancer organizations that were identified as fraudulent by the Federal Trade Commission.  I wish to assure everyone that all research with regards to the CCRF indicate they are legitimate and in no way associated with any of the 4 identified by the FTC.  While some of the four identified have similar names none are associated with the CCRF or vice versa. 

I would strongly encourage your own research on any  nonprofit / charitable organization you wish to support financially by visiting any number of available on line “Independent” evaluating sites such as CharityNavigator.org. In addition, you may find some reviews of nonprofit organizations by visiting Great Non Profits.

Whatever your cause to support is, either through your financial contribution or through other methods such as volunteer work, participation in events etc…, please do some preliminary research to help ensure those organizations are what you are comfortable giving to. You should not hesitate to pick up the phone and call the organization directly in order to get a personnel connection should you have any further questions or concerns.  Phone calls to nonprofits and chartable organizations you believe in can be in many cases extremely educational, eye opening and in some ways therapeutic.  Non profit organizations are extremely dependent on your involvement and they should be willing to freely discuss their organization and if they are NOT, look elsewhere.

 Thanks everyone for checking in and I will provide more updates as the Great Cycle Challenge continues..

 

Non Profits_

 

-Steve

 

 

 

 

 

Kids Get Cancer Too

 Greetings Everyone and Thank you for Checking in……

Training continues to go well and we are excited for the future although exact events that we will be participating in are still being considered. There are many upcoming rides and monthly cycling challenges in which we can help to promote the cancer fight and the great work many organizations are doing to help those and their families that need it most.

Recently I had the honor and privilege to present a true cancer fighter his honoree 2015 Key to Keys Jersey.  For those that were following along during the Key  to Keys ride, each day we held a dedication circle where we were each given an opportunity to tell and share who we were riding for that day.   The Dedication Circle experience remains one of the high points of the journey.  The stories and emotions that were shared and the support given and support received was genuine, and for that I will truly feel blessed by the experience.

During one Dedication Circle I stated I  was riding for Wes and that day I rode with Wes’ “I Ride For” button seen below.  While I didn’t know Wes’ story completely or even met Wes, , I did know that he is the epitome of what the K2K journey was and should always be about, and that is and will always be, recognizing and supporting those impacted by  cancer and helping to change lives in the process. He also should remind us as to the reason people with different visions and experiences should and can come together to help fight this disease and help to change lives in the process.

During K2K we rode for family, friends,  and friends of family & friends that we may not have known directly and while they are no less important to the reason we rode, it was truly a remarkable experience to present Wes’ with this Jersey and in a single moment understand all the good that can come out of the K2K experience while seeing the smile on a young boy who should inspire us all to work and come together to make it so.

I would encourage all my readers to check out Wes’ story and the battles that he and his family are so courageously fighting by following the link below to his Caring Fund raising page.  Please consider any size donation, after all “Kids Get Cancer Too”.

Wes’ Fund Raising Page

Thanks for checking in….

WesWes Button.

-Steve &  Deb

 

Getting Close !!!

Greetings everyone and thank you for checking in…

By now you know we are just under a month before we will begin the journey from Baltimore MD with the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx route to Key West FL. If you have been following along you will notice that once again I say , we (the entire team) could not have done this without the support of each of our family and friends as well as each other. You all have been amazing in providing not only donations, but words of encouragement as well as assistance in helping to share the 2015 Key to Keys experience. I can promise you that the story is only beginning, so stayed tuned for more updates as we get closer to the 11 April send off in Baltimore as well as during the ride itself.

To date the team has raised nearly $105,000 that will go to provide continued support to cancer patients in the fight against cancer. We aren’t stopping there and will continue the drive to our goal of $150,000. Please consider donating to any member of the team as you read through their individual reasons for participating. It is truly an amazing group to be associated with in the fight against cancer.

We still have some surprises in store between now and the time we arrive in Key West so please check back often. Thanks again for all the support.

Thanks for checking in ….

 

 

 

60+ Days Till Launch

Hi everyone and thanks for checking in. It’s been awhile since I posted an update and thought it was time to do so.  Thanks for all the support both financially in donations as well as all your words of encouragement and support, such as sharing of page to better help make aware of what we ALL are trying to accomplish.  I’ve attempted to make it fun in some ways to spearhead donations but truly every dollar no matter how small or large is much appreciated and goes to help cancer patients and we have never, nor will we ever lose sight of that fact.

In just over 60 days we will be launching from Key Highway in Baltimore Maryland in route to Key West Florida.  While I don’t know exactly what to expect on the ride, I have thrown my faith and trust in those that are coordinating and my fellow riders.  Many of the 2015 riders are return riders from earlier year rides.

Just to clarify, what I do know is that we will have a great ride. The leadership at the UCF have promised tailwinds the entire way. I think it’s important to also recognize the Drivers and Support Drivers that will help ensure our safety and navigation along the way. No team will ever be without a support vehicle and that is critical to our mission. We will even have a videographer with us to help document the ride.

I am excited to hopefully have the opportunity to meet some of my friends along the route as we travel through the states. While the exact route is still being planned out we will be stopping off in Virginia Beach ( I always wanted to visit there) , Wilmington NC, Charleston SC, Jacksonville FL, Daytona Beach, FT Lauderdale FL, Key Largo and Key West FL.

I encourage my followers to read some of the bios and reasons why other members of my team are riding.  We have a diverse field of passionate riders all dedicated to making this event (Much more of a ride) a huge success.

Again, thanks for checking and any donations would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Steve & Deb

 

 

When “WE” is “YOU”

Hi everyone and thanks for checking in. This will be my final blog post for 2014.

It’s been a great year and we are extremely excited about everything 2015 has in store for us.   I can promise you that 2015 will be epic, and I hope all of you will continue to follow our journey.  Once again, and I can’t say this enough, thank you to all our donors and followers who have been following along in this journey.  We can’t do this alone and it is because of you that “we” are helping to change lives. 

Please remember “WE” includes “YOU”.  Thank you!

The holiday season is always a special time of the year for many reasons, but it has an additional celebratory meaning to both Deb and I.  Deb completed her cancer treatment in December 2007, right before Christmas and 2 weeks before I retired from the Navy. As you can imagine this was both a celebratory period of time for us but also a drastic shift in our life styles.

By the time Deb finished her radiation treatment, she had already returned to work but now it was time for me to find a job following my retirement.  Unfortunately the only job available at the time was located in Patuxent River MD.  I ended up accepting that job while Deb remained in Virginia and I commuted each weekend back to VA only to return to MD the following Monday

While there was some discussion to having Deb move up to Maryland permanently, one of many reasons we opted out of this plan was that Deb and I both felt that we wanted to continue having her current medical team nearby before we took that leap of faith and turn that responsibility to over to someone new.   The security of having her medical team nearby helped to provide us with our own security blanket. We were also concerned with her getting a job and Insurance with a pre-existing cancer diagnosis as many Insurance companies would refuse to pick her up so quickly following treatment.

So why am I telling you this?

Because, these are the issue we are trying to help cancer patients navigate through by placing a Patient Navigator at medical treatment centers such as the Walter Reed Medical Center.  Imagine your life thrown upside down and sideways for a year or even longer and once you complete your treatment you are still confronted with obstacles as a result of your Cancer diagnosis.  Cancer diagnosis follows you well after your treatment ends.

This is one, of the many, reasons I have chosen to ride in the 2015 Key to Keys ride benefiting the Ulman Cancer Fund.  Your donations will go to assist and provide services and resources to families and cancer patients directly confronting those similar issues today.

Your donations will directly impact and provide the assistance and support needed not just during treatment but following treatment as well. 

Please consider being part of “WE” by making any size donation to the fight.

Steve’s Fund raising Page

Thank you and happy holidays.

Steve & Deb

 

 

 

Cyclists4ACause January Update

Greetings everyone,

I hope all who were in the path of the most recent storm to hit the East Coast have survived. It has certainly been awhile since Virginia was hit with this much snow, but it looks like most of the roads are slowing being cleared.  However obviously the storm has somewhat limited the ability to get any road biking in for the last week or so.  So far in January we have been lucky enough to get a few opportunities to get out and the rest of the time we have spent indoors either on the stationary bike and/or the trainer.   In total we hope to reach 400+ miles for the 1st month of the year which will . hopefully keep us on track to accomplish 5K for the year.  I am trying hard to find a balance between inside training and outdoor riding as nothing can replace riding outside even in the cold, however the snow is a totally different challenge we aren’t ready to undertake.

When the opportunity did present itself and I was able to ride outside I ventured out to the Virginia / North Carolina State line and the tranquil Dismal Swamp area where they have an 8.5 mile paved trail that sees little to no traffic during the day. The only traffic that normally exists is an occasional deer or bear but normally they only come out at night.  I haven’t seen a bear for years and I would like to keep it that way.  The really nice thing about the Dismal Swamp trail is the ability to plug in your headphone and ride to music which I would not advocate doing on any roads where you might run into traffic.  Safety is paramount !!

The 2014 cycling plan is coming together nicely. Cyclists4ACause is planning some epic rides and we hope to have more information forthcoming. We are currently researching putting on a SPIN-A-THON to help raise funds as well as bring awareness to the Cancer fight. We are excited to join up with some of our supporters all in the name to help bring awareness in the Cancer fight.

We hope to have some pictures posted soon as we continue to venture on this journey.

Cycling Tip of the Week

–  A lot of cyclists get caught up with where to place cleats on shoes.  The truth of the matter is , unless you’re a professional cyclists and targeting a specific speality (Sprints, Climbing, etc..) the chances are your one of the many of us mere mortals that just want to survive a ride.  I recommend putting your cleats where you feel comfortable (yes, it’s that simple).  I have found putting your cleats too far forward puts excessive pressure on the balls of your feet which after a lengthy ride can truly be painful. Lately I have re-aligned my cleats further back to take pressure off the front of my foot and in doing so I have a much more relaxed foot position and I seem to still be able to maintain power, although clipping out seems to be more of a chore.  I suspect the best position is somewhere in the middle.

 

Thanks for checking in….

 

 

 

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