Below is a blog written by a participant in this year’s Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. There are many events you can take part in with Team LIVESTRONG. Go to our website to learn more about the run, walk, ride and tri events.
My name is Russ Lee and I live in Boulder, Colorado, but I grew up in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. I am riding in the IHBC Quarter Horse in Durango, CO the 28th in honor of my brother Allen.
LIVESTRONG means something exceedingly personal to me. My brother, Allen, was originally diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1999. He had an orchiectomy and endured the follow-up chemotherapy and was cleared. Roughly three years later, some tumors had returned and his cancer tumors were able to be removed via surgery. Over the next six years, Allen remained cancer-free, but his history with the disease obviously had a profound effect on him and he became exceedingly active in first, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, then LIVESTRONG, by buying the LIVESTRONG gear, participating in rides (he even participated in one ride on a tandem bike, by himself, because he had not reserved a rental bike sooner!), passing the word of LIVESTRONG along…among other gestures.
I was certainly affected by his efforts and I began to become involved as well — primarily by supporting Allen?s efforts. Then…in November of 2008, Allen began to complain of back pain and went to the doctor. The doctor saw something he didn?t like and sent the results to Allen?s oncologist. The cancer had returned. I wish this story had a happy ending, but it doesn?t. The cancer eventually took over Allen?s body and he passed away on January 17, 2011. But cancer never touched Allen?s mind, weakened his resolve nor broke his spirit. That is what I hang onto most. But the pain is still very deep for me…I?m certain it will be with me forever. But moving forward, I will always be a LIVESTRONG-er…in honor and memory of Allen. I will continue to fight for him and others like him and help in whatever way I can to find a cure.
Allen would want me — he would want ALL of us to LIVESTRONG.
Rest in Peace, Little Brother…I love and miss you.
Iron Horse Bicycle Classic