I'm SO honored to be a part of this ride! My friends and I will be riding from the Key Highway, MD to Key West, FL in honor of my friend's brother Pete who passed away in May 2020 from cancer. Last year, Pete rode in the Key to Keys Ride 2019 on a bicycle while undergoing treatment for stage 4 cancer. Due to Corona Virus the ride was cancelled this year. So, we've decided to do the ride in our own way to honor Pete and everybody who battles cancer every day. Everybody knows someone who has been touched by cancer. Any donation, large or small, is appreciated.
Together, we can make a difference!
Papa Pete’s Ride
I never thought that the Ulman Foundation would become so important to me until my phone rang early one June evening in 2017. My brother Pete called to tell me that he has cancer. But I thought how can this be possible? Pete is the healthiest person I know. He goes to the gym every day, runs a few miles before work, eats healthy, and he runs marathons for the Ulman Foundation. That was the day I started seeing just how strong and courageous Pete really was. He didn't seem upset or scared. He told me how he found out and the next steps that needed to be taken. I could see through the phone that Pete had on his game face and would not be defeated.
Pete and I didn't have much growing up and in a house with five sisters, to say that I was glad to have a brother is an understatement. And Pete was not my brother that had cancer....he was just my brother. The one that I had to beg to let me jump my bike on the ramp with him when Mom left the house and told me not to ride my bike. The same brother that threatened to kick my "you know what" if I told Mom. And the same brother that didn't follow through with the threat after I missed the ramp and wrecked knowing that I couldn't hide it from Mom.
I talked to Pete often, but not about his cancer. We talked about our Jeeps, cars, kids, and daily things. I would tell him that I love him, but I don't know if he realized how proud I always was of him and that he was not just my big brother, but my biggest hero. He was and always will be our Superman!
Pete had a very rare type of cancer, stage 4 hepatoid adenocarcinoma. He was in his 50's with an amazing wife Patty, kids, and grandkids. I couldn't imagine what he was going through. All I knew is that I wanted to help. In addition to helping Pete and Patty with anything they needed, I wanted to help in a bigger way. Pete and Patty were Sherpas for the Howard County Cancer to 5k Team. After his diagnosis my wife Stacey and I started volunteering for the Anne Arundel County Cancer to 5k Team....this was the least we could do. I started volunteering for CT5K because of Pete, but it has become so much more than volunteering. I have met so many amazing people and I am humbled by their strength and courage. The Ulman Foundation and our CT5K team are amazing!! Our Cancer to 5K group is more than just a group that we meet with every week.....they are family.
Last year Pete rode in the Key to Keys...in fact he rode 100 miles in one day and Yes he was still in treatment!! When I mentioned to him that I was thinking about riding my bike too his response was, "Maybe you could on your Harley!" Well he wasn't wrong , so with that being said I decided to help in a way that I knew I could. I would volunteer for the Key to Keys 2020 ride.
The only call that was worse than the one I received in June 2017 was the one I received in May 2020. Pete called and told me that there were not any more treatments for him to try and that the chemo had stopped working. We still prayed for a miracle. Unfortunately, the miracle was that we had almost 3 amazing years with Pete after his diagnosis…not that he would survive. We lost Pete on May 22nd 2020. He left this world just like he fought his battle with cancer…with the greatest grace and dignity.
The Key to Keys ride was cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus. BUT I have decided to ride my Harley in place of the bicycle ride. Which ironically is the only way that Pete thought that I could do it a year ago!!! So on September 26th myself along with an amazing group of bikers will be leaving Key Highway and travel to Key West and back in 7 days. We will be raising funds that will go directly to the Ulman Foundation.
So please donate to our ride with even a small amount. We will be riding in memory of Pete and riding for all of those who will not be able to ride this year.
Each year more than 72,000 young adults are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Young adults (ages 15-39) face a variety of unique challenges with a cancer diagnosis including social isolation, fertility preservation, insurance concerns, delayed diagnosis, and survivorship.
The Ulman Foundation changes lives by creating a community of support for young adults, and their loved ones, impacted by cancer. With your support, Ulman is able to provide free services and resources for the young adult cancer community through programs that focus on patient support services, housing, survivorship, and scholarship. Learn more about young adult cancer and our impact here.