An Open Letter to Travis Brown

07.18.2008 | 4:14 pm

A Note from Fatty: This weekend’s your last opportunity to pre-order a 2009 Fat Cyclist jersey. Click here for details, or go to Twin Six to order (Men’s or Women’s) now. Thanks!

Dear Travis Brown,

We’ve never met before, but I just wanted to say that I’m a huge fan…of your uncle.

You see, Travis, yesterday my wife and I spent the entire day going from MRI to radiation to radiation marking and simulation and then to meeting with the doctor.

I, laughably, thought that it was my ninja-like skills with dealing with the medical bureaucracy that made all the doors open and appointments fall into place.

I was wrong.

It turns out that it was your uncle — Dr. Richard Brown — who made everything fall into place.

Evidently, after meeting with my wife on Wednesday and hearing her complaints about losing feeling in her legs, he started thinking about her. And worrying. And wanting to find out what was wrong.

From what he describes, it bothered him all that evening. I don’t know if all doctors bring their work home with them, but I’m glad your uncle did.

Anyway, your uncle had his nurses and receptionists make calls and get everything in place, so when I called to demand we get working now on finding out what was wrong with Susan, they were already on it.

So yesterday, acting on your uncle’s hunch, we did the spine imaging and then brought the images on over to him.

There’s a tumor in her spinal cord, blocking the nerves that send to and receive messages from the legs.

Within an hour, Dr. Brown had a plan in place: Susan would get marked up for radiation right away. Then your uncle would stay late that night planning out how the area where the radiation would target. Then Susan would come in the next day (that’s today) and start the radiation. And your uncle would open up the clinic on Saturday and Sunday so she could continue the radiation without losing any more time.

Then he asked why I shave my head. I said it’s to avoid having helmet hair. And that’s how your name came up. He says he’s your uncle, and that you’re a good kid (though I have to be honest and say that I think the whole 69er thing is just wacky).

Anyway, Travis, your uncle’s a good doctor and a good man. I thought you should know.

Kind Regards,

The Fat Cyclist


  1. Comment by leroy | 07.18.2008 | 4:22 pm

    Wow. That’s fantastic!

    And it illustrates the adage: “It’s a small world, but even so, I still wouldn’t want to have to paint it.”

    Win Susan!!!!

  2. Comment by buckythedonkey | 07.18.2008 | 4:32 pm

    Well I never! Sorry Travis, but your Uncle just aced you good and proper. :-)


  3. Comment by AlicesYellowPorsche | 07.18.2008 | 5:05 pm

    Go Uncle!!!

    WIN Susan

  4. Comment by Annie | 07.18.2008 | 5:10 pm

    It’s doctors such as Dr. Brown who give the medical profession a good name. Awesome!

    WIN Susan!!!

  5. Comment by Hamish A | 07.18.2008 | 5:30 pm

    That ‘Good Guy’ gene obviously runs pretty deep in that Family. Fantastic to have someone like that fighting for you and with you!

    I’ll bet your Ninja skills had SOMETHING to do with it though, Fatty :-)

    Sending good thoughts your way.

    WIN Susan!!!

  6. Comment by Adventure Nell | 07.18.2008 | 5:34 pm

    Yahoo for Uncle Richard! Sending huge eHugs and good thoughts your family’s way.

    Win Susan!

  7. Comment by Scrod | 07.18.2008 | 5:45 pm

    Congratulations on finding someone who listens, cares and acts. Susan deserves every bit of it.
    WIN Susan

  8. Comment by Walter | 07.18.2008 | 6:09 pm

    What an incredible gift you have for writing these absolutely heart-warming posts — you are a blessing to us all.

    Go Susan, Fatty and Uncle Richard!!

  9. Comment by aussie kev | 07.18.2008 | 7:04 pm

    the world is full of awesome people


  10. Comment by Meaghan | 07.18.2008 | 7:34 pm

    My faith in humanity is slowly increasing!
    Yaaaaay uncle!
    Wiiiiiiiin Susan!

  11. Comment by NW | 07.18.2008 | 7:36 pm

    Yeah, I was going to say (like Hamish A) that I am sure the “Ninja skills” played a part, but it doesn’t hurt to have a thoughtful, insightful doctor on your side!

  12. Comment by Jamieson | 07.18.2008 | 7:56 pm

    Fatty – Thanks for sharing the story here that reminds us that caring is truly part of the healing profession.

    Thanks for the reminder to (pre)order shirts. Let us know how many are ordered.

  13. Comment by Di | 07.18.2008 | 8:14 pm

    Obviously, your shaved head had something to do with it. You must’ve scared him. ;-)

  14. Comment by UphillBattle | 07.18.2008 | 8:27 pm

    God Bless Doctor Brown and all caring medical professionals who really care not only for their patients, but about them. Susan—keep turning the cranks!

  15. Comment by Jaime O. | 07.18.2008 | 8:37 pm

    I think it was also the sculpted legs. he was afraid you’d go ninja on his a** FIGHT SUSAN

  16. Comment by Jaime O. | 07.18.2008 | 8:43 pm

    PS. Could travis brown BE any hotter? goodness. Don’t judge me, Fatty brought him up. And I’m just sitting here minding my own business when Mr. Hot Travis shows up on my computer.

  17. Comment by Co | 07.18.2008 | 9:18 pm

    It’s nice that Dr. Brown is coincidentally related to a hall-of-famer bicyclist, but it’s *fantastic* that Susan ended up with such a caring doctor. Dr. Brown is a hall-of-famer in his own right. You guys give good, you sure deserve to get some good.

  18. Comment by Clint | 07.18.2008 | 9:51 pm


  19. Comment by ann | 07.18.2008 | 10:17 pm

    A doc who was working with me on a seemingly intractable issue claimed that many could practice the science of medicine, fewer will bring to it the art of medicine. Same with writing – many are able to write, yet not all are true artists.

  20. Comment by Don | 07.18.2008 | 10:18 pm

    I have to admit… I was waiting for a random Charlie Brown reference. I’m a bit sad, I love the Peanuts.

  21. Comment by Northern Neighbor | 07.18.2008 | 10:19 pm

    What a cool way to say thank you. Hooray for Dr. Brown. Hooray for Susan, Fatty & fam.

  22. Comment by Blue | 07.18.2008 | 10:24 pm

    Wow! (I kept saying that to myself while reading)
    That is awesome.

  23. Comment by SJ | 07.19.2008 | 12:33 am

    Kudos Uncle Richard!


  24. Comment by Flombe | 07.19.2008 | 1:31 am

    Not “Ninja” skills. Obviously your finding a cycling related Doc is a Jedi Mind Trick! Oh, and serendipity is a wonderful thing.

    WIN Susan! WIN Fatty and family!

  25. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 07.19.2008 | 2:50 am

    Awesome Doc, Awesome Uncle.

    Win Susan!

  26. Comment by Mike Roadie | 07.19.2008 | 3:20 am

    Wow! What an awesome guy. It’s great that you found someone as helpful, caring and “get to it” as………you!

  27. Comment by Bluenoser | 07.19.2008 | 7:39 am

    Classy people are out there Fatty. Glad you ran into one.

    Go Susan!!


  28. Comment by Emily | 07.19.2008 | 9:30 am

    That is great news, glad you guys have figured out the cause of what must have been a really scary problem.
    This Travis Brown connection just reinforces my belief that every singly Utahn is an extremely good mountain biker and/or backcountry skier. Can you throw a rock in the state without hitting a cyclist?
    Also– I am probably with you on Travis, Jaime O., although I would like to see him without hat and glasses before I make my final decision on hotness.

  29. Comment by Cathy | 07.19.2008 | 11:57 am

    Emily, you can always just leave the hat and the glasses on him. That would be my move.

    Go Susan! And way to go Doc Brown!!

  30. Comment by cowboycramer | 07.19.2008 | 1:14 pm

    Best open letter ever!

  31. Comment by regina | 07.19.2008 | 1:54 pm

    Yeah Uncle!!!
    WIN SUSAN!!!

  32. Comment by clambertsmith | 07.19.2008 | 2:50 pm

    I’m w/ the other ladies on T-Brown!!

    Fatty – Susan must be the most awesome woman alive since she was able to attract a man who would love her enough to use his gifted words to catch the attention of a cyclist who has an Uncle who just so happens to be a good doctor with a big heart.


  33. Comment by Dean | 07.19.2008 | 7:16 pm

    Good old uncle Rick deserves some credit for what he does every day at the office but it is going to cause me some trouble. He is my little brother!

    I’m sure he will charish your comments.

    Travis’s Dad

  34. Comment by Kathleen | 07.19.2008 | 11:37 pm

    So glad Susan is receiving timely treatment. Thanks too for restoring a bit of faith in doctors. My husband has foot injury (possibly cycling related – is that really possible?) and we’re in the vortex of specialists and MRIs. So glad that you found a “white hat” to lead the way.


  35. Comment by Lori | 07.20.2008 | 7:58 am

    Yea for caring docs!!! WIN

  36. Comment by Ms. Moon | 07.20.2008 | 11:47 am

    Listen- I have nothing to add to any of this except to say that there are many, many people out here whom you will never meet who are keeping you and Susan and your children and the good people who are helping you in our hearts.

  37. Comment by Beth | 07.20.2008 | 4:22 pm

    As always, my prayers are with Susan, you, and your family.

    If the health care system in the US had more providers such as Dr. Brown, we’d all be in a much happier and healthier place.

    Thank God for small (and big) favors.

    WIN Susan!

  38. Comment by Heatherann | 07.20.2008 | 5:09 pm

    I think I have a crush on Dr. Brown. How amazing is he. What a blessing!
    WIN SUSAN!!!

  39. Comment by Jim | 07.20.2008 | 6:03 pm

    When will they legalise cloning so we can get more of these great Dr Brown’s??

    WIN Susan


  40. Comment by MOM | 07.20.2008 | 8:29 pm

    even in what seems to be the worst of times, there are good folks who help the other good folks of the world. Strangely, the best folks help and are there for all, even for those who don’t seem to care. sounds like Dr. Brown is one of the best.
    So are you. And who would know that better than I?

  41. Comment by leon | 07.20.2008 | 11:34 pm

    long time lurker, first time poster. wanted to say something, but MOM beat me to it. pretty much sums it up!

  42. Comment by Steve from the UK | 07.21.2008 | 5:27 am

    Been following this for a while and it looks as though the omens are good – especially with the appearance of Dr Brown on the scene. Let’s hope he continues to boot the medical bureaucrats where it hurts to get good things happening for Susan & family :-)

  43. Comment by Nina in Ohio | 07.21.2008 | 6:08 am

    Fatty -

    Isn’t it great when you run into a doctor that actually looks into you and your situation – that cares about you? My husband’s radiation oncologist – Dr. Gerald Katcher in Cleveland Ohio – is the same way. He called the lab and found out the results of my hubby’s 1st CAT scan and then called us with the results right away because he knew we were on pins and needles. Not many like him and Dr. Brown. Win Susan!

  44. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 07.21.2008 | 9:53 am


    Fatty – never underestimate your inner Ninja

  45. Comment by KT | 07.21.2008 | 10:01 am

    WIN!!! Susan!

    (More emphasis on WIN)


  46. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 07.21.2008 | 10:31 am

    Yes, but what did Dr. Brown have to say for the side burns? What possible justification is there for that?


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