Cancer – It touches everyone. Can one motorcyclist make a difference?

About six months ago, we received an inquisitive call from a gentleman by the name of Dean Shirey.  He explained that he is a retired police officer; living on the west side of the mountains but his brother, who lived in Yakima, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in 2010. He went on to tell us that his brother had contacted the Cancer Care Alliance and they referred him to North Star Lodge in Yakima.  At North Star, he entered into a new chemotherapy regimen which had just been certified by the FDA and was extremely expensive and with very high insurance copays.  Without Terry’s knowledge his family met and agreed that they would sacrifice everything; sell homes, vehicles, and do anything else to help him battle his cancer.

It was no longer just Terry’s battle but one the entire family was joining as well.  A counselor met with Terry and provided him with copay assistance and basic living expenses..  This assistance was made possible by the Cancer Care Fund at North Star Lodge which is supported by private contributions to The Memorial Foundation in Yakima.

Terry lost his battle on September 11, 2012.    It was then that Dean realized that he couldn’t think of anyone who hadn’t been touched by cancer, so he planned a motorcycle ride in Terry’s honor.  His next call was to North Star Lodge to see if he could raise funds on his ride and donate them to the Cancer Care Fund.  We gladly accepted his generous offer and soon began working on his online donation page.

His ride will begin on May 28 at 10:30 AM in the east parking lot at North Star Lodge.  He will be riding the perimeter of America counter clockwise over 3 months.  He estimates that it will be 16,000 miles.  He is asking for donations to the Cancer Care Fund at The Memorial Foundation in honor of those who have been touched by cancer.  There is an online donation page located on his home page.  Anyone who wishes to follow his ride, read his blog, or see videos that he will be posting daily can do so here:  WWW.CancerRideAmerica.ORG.

Dean has been collecting pictures of loved ones whom he calls the “angels on his shoulder.” He will be taking pictures on his ride and posting them to his website.  He is also carrying a very special package, the ashes of an uncle of one of the oncology nurses at North Star Lodge, Rhonda Ruhland.  Her uncle was an avid rider who lost his battle with cancer last year.  It was because of him she rides as well.

Join Dean on this spectacular journey around the United States.

Dean  Harley

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