The road ahead: Mark & Udo

November 12, 2015 § 10 Comments

Two items from two friends:

ITEM 1: The Road Ahead

My friend Dave Worthington is working with the cycling community in Orange County to put together a ride this Sunday that will benefit legendary SoCal racer Mark Scott. Mark is undergoing chemo for advanced leukemia. The ride leaves Bike Religion, 34150 PCH in Dana Point at 8:30 AM. Click on this link to register and learn more about Mark.

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Here is what it’s all about, in Dave’s words:

To Seth:

August, 8th Floor, Hoag  Memorial Hospital. Surgical masks at the door, tubes and monitors everywhere. I held his arm for a moment. Sick, but still solid gold, and asked my friend Mark Scott, “What music are you playing to help you through the night?”

“David, lately, ‘Shine Like it Does.’

‘This is the story

Since time began.

There will come a day

When we will know

And if you’re looking you will find it.’

“Shit, Mark, that’s a good one. Helped me through my freshman year at Texas. And bro, the chemo diet seems an extreme measure just so a sprinter like you can climb with the goats.” Our tears pooled like rain.

But you know something? We got this.

News We Can Use

Last June a cycling champion, advocate, and all-around great guy named Mark Scott was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). After several rounds of chemo, Mark is still in need of a life altering bone marrow transplant.

With the help of his healthcare team and with your support, Mark is poised to return to life as he once knew it, filled with love, surrounded by family and friends, driven by hard work and by his love for pedaling about this amazing planet.

Until the exact genetic markers are matched for the transplant, the immediate concern is to minimize the effects of the cancer via chemotherapy and blood transfusions. The entire oncology department at Hoag has fallen in love with Mark, and as far as we’re concerned, there’s no surprise there. Mark is so strong, always cool with his Colgate smile and sapphire eyes.

Inside, of course, it hurts like hell, but from the smile on his face you’d never, ever know.

Post ICU

Mark’s eyes were coal. Who dimmed the lights? “Mark … WTF?”

Mark was unresponsive. He was digging deeper than ever before, at war on the inside. For the first time in a long friendship he had nothing to spare for my tiny Me-Problems. “Mark, I’m your little brother, WTF?”

At his bedside, Mark told the enemy, “I’m gonna keep fighting.” Every cell in his body under attack and every cell fighting back.

“Now back off! I’m gonna keep fighting, man.”

More News We Can Use

To date Mark has endured four grueling chemotherapy sessions. From head to toe, his body has been riddled with a battery of probes, needles, bone core drills, aorta catheters, lumbar punctures, spinal taps, x-rays, and MRI’s. Through it all, Mark has yet to utter a single word of complaint, not one. All he’s done is smile, then grit his teeth and battle back. Mark Scott has spent a LIFETIME being the first guy to step up for his friends and for his community, and since he’s too humble to ask for your help, we are asking for him: We need your help.

This Sunday, Nov. 15, we are raising funds to directly benefit Mark during this fight with cancer. Additionally, Team Mark Scott wants to increase awareness of leukemia and those it afflicts. Simply by registering for ride, whether you attend or not, you’ll be helping MARK SCOTT.

Cancer can hit any of us at any time. Why Mark? We don’t know, but we know he’s not the only one. Another champion, Rahsaan Bahati, has an 8-year old nephew suffering from leukemia. Rahsaan will be joining us on Sunday, too.

Words from a Friend

Mark loves and appreciates you all. He has the stomach and backbone to beat this. Though not out of the woods, he’s made huge strides. Still, the hard part is yet to come. Remember, more than the rubber on the road, it’s the inner tube that’s 100 times stronger because it carries the pressure and the load; it’s what’s inside that counts.Whether you can make it or not, a donation of any amount will make a huge difference since Mark will be unable to return to work during this fight. www.gofundme.com/markscott

You can also support simply by registering for the ride. And like the song said:

“Shine Like it Does

Into Every Heart.

Shine Like it Does.

And if you’re Looking

You will Find It.

You will Find It.”

ITEM 2: Celebration of the Life of Udo Heinz

The Belgian Waffle Ride was conceived to challenge limits and to connect us as a community. Udo Heinz, a husband and father of two who was struck and killed near Camp Pendleton in 2013—is the closest to our heart.

Join us as we celebrate Udo’s life with a 55-mile memorial ride featuring friends, road and dirt on Saturday, November 14, starting from Stone Brewing Co. at 8:00 AM.

Hosted by the Ranchos Cycling Team, please RSVP for the ride and view additional details here: http://www.ranchoscycling.org/#!events/ccto

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But that’s just the beginning. Udo’s wife Antje shared this beautiful letter.

My Dear Udo,

It has been more than two years that I could ride behind your wheel and hear you yelling at me to “hang on to the wheel.” How I miss your wheel, my love.

I still feel closest to you when I am in the saddle of my bike. Sometimes a simple bike ride makes all the difference in my day. Blue sky above me, road under me, my heart pounding and my legs screaming, climbing up the hill.

I love riding my bike. You loved riding your bike. And we both loved riding our bikes together.

In the first year after you left us, my grief was raw and obvious. And the first anniversary was not a benchmark, really. It was merely the day after day 364, followed by 366, 367 and so on. Year one was a struggle to get up, get the kids to school and to figure out all those things like car title transfers, new health insurance, the mechanics of life.

By year two, most of those things were resolved. But now there is another big job waiting to be resolved: Learning to live life alone, a new identity because you are still GONE and you will always be gone. Year two means struggling to live life again. And it is hard.

Some days I don’t care about anything, some days I am just tired. Tired of fixing the printer without your help, tired of making big decisions alone, and tired of caring for our children by myself.

It is hard because I have to live without the one I can’t live without.

But I always go on. I take breaks when I am really dark but I always come out the other end. I have so many wonderful people in my life that carry me. They didn’t disappear after the first year of initial grief. They are still by my side and encourage me, listen to me, hug me and ride with me. Like all those friends that come to the memorial ride again this year to celebrate your life, your birthday, your smile, your love for riding. We will all ride for you and with you, Udo. We will remember you and talk about you. Because we cannot forget you. You were the kindest and most loyal and smartest guy I have ever met. You touched all of us.

I am still working on trying to live without you. C.S. Lewis said that getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.

Antje

November 2015

END

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