Tuesday was a picture perfect day at North Star Lodge for the beginning of Dean Shirey’s cross country motorcycle ride “To the ends of America, to end cancer”. Dean will be riding the perimeter of the United States on his motorcycle in honor of his brother, Terry Shirey, who lost his battle with melanoma in 2012. The 16,000 mile journey will raise awareness about cancer research and treatment and raise money for The Memorial Foundation’s cancer care fund.
“I was a Seattle motorcycle cop for 35 years and have seen my share of tragedies,” said Dean at a send off ceremony. “Nothing compares to the care the patients and families receive at North Star Lodge and the compassionate people at The Memorial Foundation. It is truly my honor to do this for Terry and for all those touched by cancer.”
North Star Lodge is a special place for the Shirey family. Terry received his treatment at North Star and the cancer care fund helped with basic living expenses for him and his family. That left such a lasting impression on Dean and his mom, Shirley Leslie, that they continue contributing to North Star Lodge. At the send off ceremony, Shirley donated 10 prayer shawls and 10 lap blankets that she knitted in honor of Terry.
Dean refers to Terry as the “angel on his shoulder”. Terry’s widow, Irene, presented Dean with a special necklace containing Terry’s ashes. A police escort from the Yakima Police department ensured a safe send off for Dean along with a band of riders who accompanied him for the beginning of his first leg of the trip.
Dean expects the ride to take three months and plans to return to North Star Lodge the last week of August. His goal is to raise $10,000 and he’s already on his way to meeting that goal. You can follow Dean’s ride on his website CancerRideAmerica.org and make donations through the site. All donated funds go to The Memorial Foundation cancer care fund. The ride is privately funded.
The Memorial Foundation is grateful to the Shirey-Leslie families and wishes Dean safe travels. We’ll post updates on Dean‘s progress throughout the summer.