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My niece Amanda

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Can you spell remission. Can you spell joy. Can you say cancer free. It sounds like music to my ears

Yesterday my niece Amanda left a voice mail on my cell phone - letting her uncle Jan know that her bone marrow biopsy - after 2 years and 7 months fro,m the day she went into the hospital with a bad nose bleed - which turned into leukemia - was CLEAN!!! We could not be happier. (I tried to call her back - but she was celebrating I guess).

I want to thank all of you for your emails, friendship, support, thoughts, prayers runs, bikerides ... or which ever way you have expressed your support. Amanda has just - with good grades - finished her second semester in a community college and for the first time she can celebrate a summer again ....

cancer was defeated again!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMCG2002 6/17/2009 7:49PM


What wonderful news, for you and Amanda! I hope you do some celebrating, too.

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BILLALEX70 6/17/2009 5:50PM

    Jan I can't have heard better news today! emoticon

It still breaks my heart that we have people diagnosed with cancer, but the more money and awareness we can raise it doesn't stand a chance.


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    Jan, that is FANTASTIC. I can only imagine how elated you are. Here's to one of her best summers ever . . and many more to come!!

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JOPAPGH 6/17/2009 8:04AM

    Great news!

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GRACE612 6/17/2009 7:54AM

    That is awesome news, Jan!!! As a cancer patient myself, I'm sure that your niece is beyond thrilled to have heard that news!!

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IRISHLASS117 6/17/2009 7:05AM


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Cancer lost again

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My fellow sparkers. This afternoon was very special for a couple of families, and it was special for me.

Four years ago, I met a scared young lady. She was scared because she had just been diagnosed with leukemia, and what I was about to do to her, was not pleasant - a bone marrow biopsy. She was there with her mom, and we got to chat. She was a remarkable woman, and instantly we connected.

A week later I met her in the hallways. She looked upset. I asked her what was the matter. She needed another bone marrow biopsy. I asked her if she wanted me to do it? Much to my surprise she said - she would like to but she was afraid to ask. And I did another - which was uneventful.

Because she and I and her family got to know each other - we continued to stay in touch (I left the hospital for another), and this young - and strong lady has been one of my honoree's on the bike rides, runs, and the triathlons.

I could continue the details - but won't - but leave it to say - the next years she has been to hell and back. Her family are wonderful and one person in particular has been at her side the entire way. Her boyfriend, who she knew since 2 or 3rd grade. They have been there through her bone marrow transplant and her ins and outs of the hospital.

Today was the day where 'for better and for worse' and 'in sickness and in health' took on a new meaning. My honoree and her boyfriend - turned fiancée, became husband and wife, and I was privileged to be there when they tied the knot.

Needless to say they are doing well, and I feel so fortunate to see this happy occasion - because cancer - this time you lost!!!

Please take a minute to view this piece from our local Fox affiliate

(I am not sure where the heart transplant comes from - reporters - what can I say).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NETTYBREAD 6/15/2009 11:58AM

    WoW! Very neat story indeed.

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LULUBELLE1102 6/14/2009 5:18AM

    What a beautiful story.

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RENA1965 6/14/2009 3:19AM

    Good for you Jan, keep up the hard work! I hope my 8 year old neice also winds against cancer, she is in good hands at the space rocket hospital for children in Auckland, New Zealand..

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KATIEWELL 6/13/2009 8:44PM


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IRISHLASS117 6/13/2009 8:26PM


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BILLALEX70 6/13/2009 8:23PM

    It's always good to hear a positive cancer story. I personally can't imagine what that young lady has gone through, but many close family members do understand and I've witnessed first hand through them.

Most cancer stories end in tears and heartbreak. Glad to hear this one end in tears and heart filled joy!

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GRACE612 6/13/2009 8:08PM

    Through thick and this, what a love story!!! Thanks for sharing!!

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DINAHGIRL 6/13/2009 7:08PM

    What a beautiful story. Thank you so much, Jan!

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MYTURN11 6/13/2009 7:06PM

    What a beautiful blog. I cried. I am glad that cancer lost again. I have lost so many friends and family in the past two years that I so love to hear success stories. I also admire all who were there to support this young woman including you.

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SUNFISH25 6/13/2009 4:58PM

It is so good to hear that she has had support thru all of this. This is not a path anyone should have to travel alone. And your being there must have helped both her and her family.
God Bless.

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ALMMOM 6/13/2009 4:50PM

    How awesome. My sister has been battling with cancer (bone). I love to hear sucess stories like this one. It is an up and down cycle during the disease.

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Mule report (Tahoe ride report)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

On Friday morning, 7am we took off from Cleveland to Minneapolis - and on to Sacramento - and loaded the bus to go to Tahoe ... it was not the prettiest weather. Lots of low clouds, sprinkles (and I had heard the s word in the forecast) - We got out bikes - and Friday night one of the mules (Mark) invited us over to the house he has rented (he is here with his family and a few friends). Grillin' and chillin - it was great.

Saturday morning: It is grey outside. Temp 39. The national weather service says 'Mostly sunny, with a high near 73. Northwest wind between 5 and 8 mph. ' hmmm. sunny remains to be seen. I had a great 8+ hrs sleep last night - don't remember when that last happened.

The shakedown ride was relatively uneventful - we rode about 8 miles, and some issues with derailleurs were identified. We found out how cold it is going to be tomorrow and some of us went to get some apparel we should have thought of when we packed. Fortunately we can get it in skiing stores where they are having good sales. - I met with three of my friends from 'cyclists combating cancer' and we spent a good hour together. Two mules (John and Scott joined us).

In the interim we got our race package - and (mule) Mark is riding with # 6 tomorrow (at this event the top 10 fundraisers for LLS will ride with 1-10). He has raised a little more then $23k.

The big new of the pasta party - this event raised more than$6.8M and the 26 members of the Northern Ohio team raised $171.000. (Just received the number).

4am came early. The sky was grey, but no rain :-) so we were hopeful. We assembled in hotel lobby and rode over to the start line. At 6:20 the first northern Ohio team rolled out. It was cool, but pleasant. Before we rolled out mule scott reminded me that I had just blown out of the gate last year, and it was not a good idea ... well he should practice what he preach - because who blew out of the gate at 20mph. That was kind of our average until the switch backs of emerald bay. We climbed Emerald bay - could have been prettier - but it was deliberate pedaling. The stage for the rest of the ride is set and we cruised.

At this point I should probably say - mule John did not ride with us. He was not feeling well, so he rode with a Philly team mate. Our team (pace line or 'train') was mule Scott and Mule Mark - with us we had two Yak's Rachel and Laura who was an incredible asset, and then at times we were joined by other team mates from Northern Ohio, but they had a hard time keeping up with us. A couple of times the 'train' dropped off a rider, but we I was one of them.

We did have a small mishap - on a bike trail someone not from our team - stopped abruptly - and there was a pile up of four cyclists - BUT no scratches.

We met at Spooner and rode in together - content ... headed over to the finish line where the pizza and beer waited, and cheering the rest of our team, who both for medical reasons did the perimeter of Tahoe (72 miles). When John came in - I met him as he made the last turn - and I ran next to him for the past 200 yards.

The ride of 2009 is now completed - once again cyclists showed we don't brake for cancer! There is one person whom I have decided to give something special to this year. Just before we left - I learned through a friend that a young and well respected police officer had lost his battle to leukemia. Police officers are special people and although his name is not on the jersey - this years jersey will go to either his department or his family (their choice).

As for 2010.... a couple of things are being considered. No decisions are made - the mules have started talking about some way of doing Seattle to Portland through a different chapter so we can raise money - or perhaps I will do a half iron man ... stay tuned for a decision later this year. (A half ironman is 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13.1 mile run).

If you want to see the elevation map for Tahoe ...

To my honoree's - thanks for the inspiration to continue to do this
To my donors thank you for allowing me to do this one more year
To Mules - John, Mark, and Scott - plus Yaks Laura and Rachel - you guys ROCK.
To everyone else - thank you for all your support and encouragement in email, website postings etc

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLKITTIES 6/11/2009 9:05AM

  Thanks so much for the update. I'm sorry I missed it -- look forward to riding it agin next year with TNT.

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MUSCLEMOM_2 6/10/2009 8:52AM

    Sounds like wonderful news all he way around. Thanks again for all you do for "the fight". We WILL find a cure!

Becky emoticon

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BUCKETTE 6/10/2009 6:00AM

    Such inspiration and such devotion to raising money to fight cancer.
Glad to have you back home !

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BILLALEX70 6/10/2009 5:01AM

    Glad to have you back with us in one piece. Sounds like the weather couldn't have been more perfect.

It appears that the only way we can stop Cancer is to keep on fundraising with the hopes that one day a researcher will have that "A-Ha" moment.

Until then we'll keep doing what we're doing.

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JOPAPGH 6/9/2009 11:12PM

    Great report. Appreciate all you and the other riders do to fight the good fight.

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TTLEELEE 6/9/2009 10:19PM

    emoticon Welcome Home. Glad it turned out so well!

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GRACE612 6/9/2009 9:31PM

    Great job on the ride and the fund raising!!!

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IRISHLASS117 6/9/2009 9:30PM

    The Warrior returns! So glad to have you back.

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MAGELLAN1 6/9/2009 9:24PM

    great job! your team is a seems to be a cycling and money raising machine! i left the area (from Reno) sunday morning. i was wondering if the weather held up for you riders. It was iffy all week. congratulations on a fine job. well done.


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    Glad it was such a good experience!

Have you seen this?:
>looks entirely too much fun! (and a LOT of hard work!!)

Glad to have you back! We'll have to have a SparkCleveland biking get together! :)

Have a great week,


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Good morning from Lake Tahoe

Saturday, June 06, 2009

My dear friends - it is the first morning in Lake Tahoe - 39 degrees, grey sky, and wet streets.

The trip out here was uneventful, but long. Yesterday - the mules hung out - and Mark who is here with his family cooked and we had a blast. It was great to catch up.

The agenda today
Breakfast - shakedown ride - meet with friends from Cyclists combating cancer pasta party and early to bed.

Oh, did I tell you - as of yesterday morning the northern ohio team has raised $173.000 in our fight against blood cancers. Cancer you better get it soon - because you WILL lose.

Now make it a great day ... from your 'mule reporter ' in Tahoe.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRISHLASS117 6/7/2009 8:10PM

    Can't wait for the Mule Report Jan.


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JNEUBS 6/6/2009 7:28PM

    Awesome job raising that money! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Watch out cancer we're on to you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

All the best!

ChiTown Jeff emoticon emoticon

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BILLALEX70 6/6/2009 5:13PM

    Jan you're a very special person and I look forward to the day we can meet and ride. I would be running for my room in that type of weather. It was a beautiful day in Ohio for riding. Upper 70's and I logged 62-miles this morning.

Sending good vibes and better weather your way.

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MUSCLEMOM_2 6/6/2009 3:47PM

    The weather sounds blah but the news on the cancer fundraising front has to brighten your day and spirits! emoticon emoticon for all of your efforts!

Wanted to wish you luck tomorrow in your ride. Be safe!


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GRACE612 6/6/2009 1:15PM

    Wow, great effort on the money raising side!! Sorry the weather is chilly and grey though. Have a great time!

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JOPAPGH 6/6/2009 11:26AM

    Win one for Cleveland!

Have a great ride.


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LINDAJ111 6/6/2009 10:08AM

    Have a wonderful day !
Congrats on the wonderful job you and your fellow cyclists are doing for such a great cause. Its people like you that make this world a better place!
Take care and enjoy Lake Tahoe, no matter what the weather sounds like the sunshine will come from your friends and the cause you are working towards!!


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Miles with meaning - last training ride before Tahoe

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Well it is a gorgeous day in this area, so why not go for a bike ride with some of my team members I am heading to Tahoe with. 69 miles - hilly miles I may add. It was a ride which started at the LLS chapter office, and heading east ... south and then west. If you think NE Ohio is not hilly - I have news for you. There were lots of hills, and they came at you fast and furious. Three of us decided to ride together and did a rotating group, so we were changing who was up front about every mile.

It was great - and at the end of the ride - we turned the bikes in to be kept in storage until they are picked up and leaving for Tahoe. We will be reunited with out bikes on Friday 6.5.09 for the 6.7.09 ride.

I have had something to eat - and as I was going through my mail an acquaintance send a mail to a list serv I subscribe to .. on e of his friends was diagnosed with Lymphoma. It seem to be a never ending story.... but you know cancer - you have picked a fight with the wrong team. (modified from Lance Armstrong).

My friend John recently wrote to me 'I was thinking about this. Ever notice when a person beats cancer, they do it fair and square with everything they have, strength grit and hope all rolled into one. But when cancer tries to win, it cheats. It attacks when you least expect it with no warning and it doesn't care who it attacks. It is the lowest form of something because its willing to pick on a child, even babies. Its gutless and I think its afraid of a fair fight. Let's keep fighting back. Cancer doesn't stand a chance against this team!!!!'

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOPAPGH 5/24/2009 9:00AM


Sounds like you are ready for a great trip. I lost my grandmother to stomach cancer and my wife is a cancer survivor. If there is a way I can contribute to charities associated with your Tahoe ride, let me know via PM.

All the best in Tahoe,


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HEALTHYCHIC 5/24/2009 8:02AM

    I really appreciate and enjoy your posts! Great ride, and i love that quote. So true.

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BILLALEX70 5/23/2009 11:01PM

    Way to go on the ride today Jan.

My thoughts and prayers will be with you during your trip out to Tahoe. If enough of us keep going after cancer hopefully we can send it running.


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DDOORN 5/23/2009 7:27PM

    Wonderful to hear of your rides, Jan...I'm sure you're going to WOW them in Tahoe!

On June 19th and 20th our local SparkTeam is joining the Relay For Life to help the American Cancer Society raise donations.

We'll beat the big C yet! :-)


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