Susan Nelson

08.7.2009 | 1:05 pm

Yesterday was long. It started with a meeting at the funeral home, taking care of the business end of Susan’s funeral. Then I worked for a while on the program for the funeral itself. Then I took my boys to buy us suits.

And then, when I got home, there was a big chunk of the core team, hanging out at my house and ready to go for a ride. I have great friends.

Then I wrote Susan’s obituary for the local newspaper. As I did that, I realized a few things. First, that I had more to say about Susan than what I could fit in an obituary (especially since the newspaper charges me $3.50 per line). Second, that more people who care about Susan read my blog than are likely to get the Deseret News (a Utah-wide newspaper). And finally, I wanted to make sure that any of my readers who are able to make it to the funeral have the information they need to get there.

And if you’re not able to make it to the funeral, well, what I’m writing here will be pretty much the same thing, but with a lot fewer stutters and stammers.

susan-obit.jpgSusan Ellen Nelson

Susan Ellen Nelson (born Reeve) passed away August 5, 2009, after a long and hard-fought battle with breast cancer. She finished her life at home, at peace, and with her family: her husband Elden, sons Nigel (15) and Brice (13) and twin daughters Katie and Carrie (7).

Susan was born September 15, 1966 in Columbus, Ohio, to Richard and V. Karen Reeve, the first of three children. Susan’s sisters are Celia Reeve and Christine Krueger.

We Meet and (Very Soon After) Marry

The best place for me to really start telling Susan’s story, though, is when we met. Specifically, we met April 27, 1988. My college roommate was engaged to one of Susan’s roommates, and I was along for the ride when he stopped by her apartment.

When I saw Susan, I was immediately stricken. In addition to her general hotness, she had eyes that conveyed her smile so perfectly.

Plus, I really liked her dark red hair.

I was not the kind of person to ask girls out on dates without spending time getting courage up, but in this case I made an exception.

When I went to pick Susan up the next day, I did a double take — her hair color was now blaze-orange. Which I also liked, but was confused.

As it turns out, Susan was in cosmetology school at the time — she wanted to learn hair as a skill to put in her quiver for her love of stage makeup — and her hair would change style and color roughly twice a week through our courtship.

Our courtship, by the way, didn’t take long. We married on August 13, 1988 in the LDS Los Angeles Temple — about 3.5 months after we met.

After twenty one years (this Thursday) of a truly happy marriage, I can’t help but be amazed that I made such a good choice so quickly.


Before long, Susan went back to college, finishing her BA in Classical Civilizations at BYU. Here, I learned about Susan’s incredible gift of memorizing. For her upper-level Latin classes (yes, at one point Susan could speak Latin), Susan would memorize page after page of Latin and their English translations.

I would tease her about the practicality of learning Latin, but Susan wasn’t really in school for the language. She loved history and mythology, whether it be ancient Greek or modern JRR Tolkien (or, eventually, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) — if Susan became interested in something, she immersed herself in it and quickly became an expert.

Family First

While Susan loved history and mythology and stagecraft and art — and took to any and all of these quickly and naturally — once we started having children, she threw herself into being a mom with patience and energy. And I see many things I love about Susan in each of our four children:

  • Nigel has Susan’s patience and creativity. Like Susan, Nigel really never gets angry. They’re both calm in every circumstance. And like Susan, Nigel loves to draw, although he has taken this ability in new directions — on the computer — which Susan always loved to see. Like Susan, Nigel is happiest when he is creating something.
  • Brice has Susan’s love of reading and learning. As Susan lost the ability to get around, she and Brice spent more time together than anyone else in the family, reading out loud to each other for hours. Like Susan, Brice has the ability to bring text to life. When he reads aloud, everyone in the family gathers around. Like Susan, Brice is a perfectionist, and always turns in (much) better work than is required.
  • Katie and Carrie: I don’t know if identical twins usually have identical talents, but both Katie and Carrie — in addition to looking very much like Susan’s pictures from when she was a little girl — are artistic whirlwinds. Like Susan, they love to draw and paint and sculpt and paper-piece and anything else that lets them create with their hands. The day Susan introduced them to the fundamentals of jewelry making was a watershed moment for them of Keppleresque proportions. But Katie and Carrie have different art emphases — Katie loves to draw, Carrie likes to make things — and watching and helping the girls develop their different talents was one of Susan’s greatest pleasures.

Susan has left me with four smart, kind, and creative children. This is almost certainly her greatest legacy.

Arts and Crafts and a Novel

Susan was a talented artist, entering her Freshman year of college as a scholarship art student. Her interests in art varied and grew, from pen and ink to paper piecing to sophisticated scrapbooking projects. Susan published several scrapbooking articles in magazines, and even had a monthly column in one.

In the past five years or so, Susan’s interest in art moved to jewelry making. In particular, Susan loved twisting, shaping, and melting silver wire into beautiful and complex bracelets and necklaces. Even as cancer took her ability to walk away, Susan remained positive — from her easy chair, she could still wield her acetylene torch.

As she was forced to spend more time seated, Susan had the idea to write a young adult-oriented novel. While many would think this was just too daunting a task, Susan simply got to work, outlining, writing, and editing her first novel. Chemo and radiation and the cancer itself would often make it difficult for her to write, but she continued, encouraged by the fact that teenage girls from around the neighborhood demanded that she keep writing so they could see what happens next.

Susan’s novel is within a few pages of completion. Susan told me what happens in the end, and I may do my best to finish it for her and see if I can honor her by bringing it to publication.


For a more detailed telling of Susan’s battle with cancer, you may want to read a recent post, Fighting Like Susan. The brief version is that Susan fought cancer for more than five years. She endured a mastectomy — and moving shortly afterward with twin toddlers in tow. She endured chemo. She endured a hip replacement. She endured radiation multiple times, and more chemo.

And when there was nothing left we could do, Susan endured — for months and years longer than anyone expected — assault after assault by cancer on her body: bones, lungs, and brain.

And throughout, she remained herself: creative, focused, and kind.

And also — very importantly — she was brave.

In an act of constant courage, Susan agreed to let me tell her story, as it happened. Because of this, thousands of people, all around the world, were inspired to take up her fight against cancer.

And I mean “thousands” very literally. More than 500 people — people she never met in real life — joined her namesake LiveStrong Challenge team, raising money to fight cancer. And those 500 people — along with many, many others, have raised well above half a million dollars in the past half year.

When I ask myself, “What could be the purpose — the point — of Susan having cancer?” I think that Susan proved something essential: sometimes we have to make our own purpose from the circumstances we’ve been given.

And if you consider that people have emailed me saying that, inspired by Susan’s story, they have decided to join the fight against cancer, or they have quit smoking, or they have decided to be brave and get a mammogram — well, that’s a powerful purpose.

The money we have raised in her name will help in the fight against cancer, but Susan’s legacy goes way beyond that. It is, in fact, immeasurable.

Funeral and Donations

Funeral services will be held Monday, August 10, 2009 at 10:00 a.m., with a gathering at 9:00 a.m. at the LDS Chapel located at 890 N. Main St, Alpine, UT 84004 (Official address is different, but this address will get you to the right spot).

In lieu of flowers, please donate via Paypal or send donations to Elden Nelson, 407 Quincy Ct., Alpine, UT 84004. Donations will be used for the Nelson children’s education funds.

PS: One of the most touching tributes I’ve seen on the web is the Twin Six home page. And so maybe you can imagine how I felt this morning, when, on a ride to the top of the Alpine Loop, I saw this at the summit:


As well as this, at the “half-mile to the top, start going fast if you can” marker:


And there was another, at the finish line for the toll-booth sprint (Dug beat me by a bike length by the way).

Whoever did this, thank you.

PPS: To the more than 2000 of you who have left comments and sent email since I left the short post about Susan dying, thank you. I haven’t read all your comments yet; I tend to dip in and read until I’m too choked up to continue. I will get through them, and I appreciate everyone reaching out the way you have.


  1. Comment by Jeannette James | 08.7.2009 | 1:10 pm

    Thank you so much for this insight into Susan. I feel I know her and your family even though I live in Australia. My cycling friends and I share your grief. Our thoughts are with you.

  2. Comment by David Platt | 08.7.2009 | 1:13 pm

    Our thoughts are with you – thank you for sharing your life with us, it has made (and will continue to) a huge impact. We’ll all keep fighting.

  3. Comment by TB | 08.7.2009 | 1:16 pm

    That was a beautiful tribute. Luckily for Susan, she is no longer in pain. I know that doesn’t make it a lot easier to deal with, but she is the lucky one!

    Thank you for sharing such personal things with the world. You have touched so many.

    Win Fatty and family!!!

  4. Comment by Lynn @ Walking With Scissors | 08.7.2009 | 1:17 pm

    What a lovely tribute to your wife. I truly enjoyed reading it. My most sincere condolences to you, your children and the rest of your family.

  5. Comment by rose | 08.7.2009 | 1:17 pm

    i didn’t know your blog or story until another blog paid tribute to Susan and her fight, and for some reason i found myself clicking the link to read the entry. susan must have been a treasure, one that will surely live on in memory and actions – your view of her is stunningly loving, and your children are lucky to have you both. veryone deserves love and support during the good and hard times and I hope you have more than you need.

  6. Comment by Chandi | 08.7.2009 | 1:17 pm

    You and Susan shared a wonderful life together.

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

  7. Comment by Jessie | 08.7.2009 | 1:18 pm

    Sending warm thoughts and hugs to you and your family. I too will keep fighting.

  8. Comment by Glenn | 08.7.2009 | 1:21 pm

    Thank you for sharing this and you’re already a winner. FTS and I have a new quote to live by “we have to make our own purpose from the circumstances we have been given.”


  9. Comment by Jeffy | 08.7.2009 | 1:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing a life well-lived with gifts to the world that will keep on giving. Brava Susan!

  10. Comment by cyclingeurope | 08.7.2009 | 1:22 pm

    It truly is wonderful to hear more about Susan, her talents, how you met and the love you shared. I LOVE that someone wrote those messages on the road, how incredibly thoughtful and fitting.

    God bless. I will be at the funeral in spirit as I am sure many of your readers will be too. You’ll feel a tremendous surge of energy there on Monday from all the love being sent your way from the four corners of the earth.

  11. Comment by Brussel Sprouts | 08.7.2009 | 1:24 pm

    Susan’s strength and your strength are immeasurably inspiring. When you wrote, “I think that Susan proved something essential: sometimes we have to make our own purpose from the circumstances we’ve been given,” you spoke volumes about the human spirit and the experience of life.

    You, your children and your family are in my prayers.

  12. Comment by Charlie Brown | 08.7.2009 | 1:25 pm

    Well done! Both of my daughters (and Leadville crewmembers) are proud owners of bracelets made by Susan and were quite impressed by her creative talents!

    Allez Fatty!

  13. Comment by dug | 08.7.2009 | 1:27 pm

    “I can’t help but be amazed that I made such a good choice so quickly.”

    according to malcolm gladwell, that’s EXACTLY the way to do it.

  14. Comment by Eli | 08.7.2009 | 1:28 pm

    God bless you and your children. You are stronger than you think.

  15. Comment by Lisa | 08.7.2009 | 1:29 pm

    That was beautiful, beautiful. I read it with tears falling down my face. Would attend the funeral if I could, but will be there in thought, as no doubt many of us here in cyberspace will be.
    You sure did pick a winner, as did Susan. You make us all want to be better people–all of you in your family. I know in a while, as all this seems to settle down, and the world looks like it’s gone back to “normal,” you may feel the sting that life moves on and that Susan will be forgotten. (I know I felt like that when my baby son died; the thought that he would be easily forgotten and thus have no meaning cut like a knife and still does at times.) But your eloquence through this battle has painted a very moving and real portrait that will not be forgotten. Susan won’t be forgotten. Not many people could have taken this lot in life and faced it with such grace, strength and determination. Most of us would have gone through it kicking and screaming, and making everyone else utterly miserable. She was a rare one, indeed.
    Thank you for sharing Susan with us.

  16. Comment by kiwi | 08.7.2009 | 1:29 pm

    Riding home from work yesterday I feet sad, when my father die of Cancer there was one thing that I did.
    I got on my bike and just went until I dropped,while I
    was riding I got so angry at the cancer that had taken my Dad. And asked WHY,a good friend said to me after that ride….Cancer has taken your Dad but cancer can
    NEVER take away love…..By the way I saw 4 people in gears last night.
    And as we past each other we yelled


  17. Comment by John (Velocast) | 08.7.2009 | 1:32 pm

    As a portrait of a wife/mother/partner/lover you couldn’t have done better. Thoughts and good vibes with you and yours from Scotland. You, the family…and Susan… have made a difference.

    Thank You

  18. Comment by Leslie | 08.7.2009 | 1:32 pm

    What a moving and inspiring tribute–thank you for sharing it with us, and thank you for sharing this difficult journey. You and Susan have touched more people than you will ever know.

    Unrelated: I’m a published novelist and would be happy to offer advice/contacts about the publishing biz anytime you’re ready to think about that stuff, even if that time isn’t until months and months and months from now.

  19. Comment by bibliogrrl | 08.7.2009 | 1:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. You have all been in my thoughts.

  20. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 08.7.2009 | 1:34 pm

    Thank you for a beautiful tribute and for sharing your family’s journey. Susan was truly a special person. I lost my mom to breast cancer in 1998 and I have several artistic items that she created during her battle that hold special memories for me.

    Continuing to pray for you and your family.

  21. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 08.7.2009 | 1:36 pm

    A beautiful tribute to Susan. I, along with thousands of others, will be at the funeral in spirit. I’ll be wearing my Fat Cyclist jersey this weekend on my 2-day cycling tour.
    Thinking of you often,

  22. Comment by K (late to the party) | 08.7.2009 | 1:36 pm

    A beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing.

    Win Susan.


  23. Comment by josh | 08.7.2009 | 1:37 pm

    I wish I could have had the privilege of knowing her personally, although I feel like I have known her for years. Thank you for sharing her story with us.

  24. Comment by Brian Cottrell | 08.7.2009 | 1:38 pm

    Again Eldon my family prays daily for yours.
    It is amazing that how through your blog and Susan’s story so many of us feel as though we have lost a very dear friend, a friend that we have known all our lives, but in reality have never met or spoken too. Yet this doesn’t seem to ease the loss we all feel. But it is because of this there are a lot of people that cannot say that they have never been affected by or someone they know being affected by cancer, and this helps raise awareness of cancer.
    Thank you so much for sharing Susan’s story with us all, and everything that you have done to raise cancer awareness.
    Take care of yourself and the children..

  25. Comment by Kyddryn | 08.7.2009 | 1:39 pm

    I’m so sorry…

    Your family is in my thoughts.

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  26. Comment by Karin | 08.7.2009 | 1:39 pm

    You have honoured Susan well.

    I came to your blog from LA’s tweet and have been slowly making my way through the archives. I’ve often felt that the appeal to me is the beautiful love story of you and Susan. I smiled when I read it has always been like that.

    I continue to lift you and your family up in prayer.


  27. Comment by chiggins | 08.7.2009 | 1:39 pm

    That was beautiful, and worthy. I’m grateful for what you’ve all shared. Bless you and your family, my thoughts and wishes are with you all, and thank you.

  28. Comment by Chris | 08.7.2009 | 1:42 pm

    Thank you. Blessings to you all, Chris and Family

  29. Comment by DeMo | 08.7.2009 | 1:45 pm

    I don’t know your whole story, and I am fairly new to your blog. I came here from PW. I loved your tribute to Susan and cried as I read it. And what those people did for you with the chalk made me choke up even more. Prayers to you and your family at your loss. You have such a great support here on the internet.

  30. Comment by Brenna | 08.7.2009 | 1:46 pm

    Simply beautiful. I have never met either you or Susan but I am so touched by your story. I cried last night thinking of the pain you and your family are suffering from your loss and I cried while I read above. May you all find peace in legacy she has left behind. Thank you for sharing with all of us. Words cannot express it enough.

  31. Comment by Michelle | 08.7.2009 | 1:46 pm

    Blessings and prayers are with your family.

  32. Comment by Gillian | 08.7.2009 | 1:47 pm

    I’m really glad that a few weeks ago you shared a video of the lovely Susan with us. That, coupled with this loving tribute, brings home her seriously unmatchable excellence . . . and thereby the depth of your loss. The world is lesser today.

    XOXO from my family to yours

  33. Pingback by | The RocBike Review » Fatty’s obituary for Susan | 08.7.2009 | 1:47 pm

    [...] Read the remembrance. [...]

  34. Comment by Rob M | 08.7.2009 | 1:47 pm


    Even though I’ve read your blog for quite some time, I’ve never commented here before, but I feel it is time to.

    The courage you’ve shown, and the spirit that you and Susan both possess has been an inspiration to more people than you can imagine. As human beings, we all strive to do what is best for ourselves, but a very select few strive to do what is best for others, such as doctors and nurses. Yet, sometimes, someone comes along who is so utterly special, so completely devoid of selfishness and hubris, that it stands apart from even the most dedicated care-givers. You and Susan exemplify that rhetoric.

    We spend our whole lives trying to leave a legacy, trying to touch another life in some way, shape or form. Some of us choose to do so through our professions, working as healers or educators, but some just touch lives through the act of being themselves. You and Susan have reached out to more people than most people ever will in their lifetime, whether you know it or not. You have left an indelible mark of incredible kindness, determination, perseverance and hope upon humanity, and for that I thank you.

    Susan will be missed in the physical world, but take heart that her spirit will live on forever. She will continue to touch lives many, many years down the line, and her legacy is something to be eternally proud of.

    Allez Fatty, allez.

  35. Comment by svandiver | 08.7.2009 | 1:47 pm

    You and Susan have left such a legacy for us, your readers, and most important your children. They have seen what it means to love someone unconditionally. No greater lesson can be taught. Your childen sound like exceptional people also and they are strong because of the fight they saw in their mother and the compassion they see in their father.
    My thoughts will be with you the next few days and through the next months and years as you learn to love Susan in a different form.

  36. Comment by Woody | 08.7.2009 | 1:47 pm

    I wish I could find the words to express all that I am feeling. But I cannot. Susan was an incredible woman – an inspiration to all. I am proud to be a member of Team Fatty. My sincere condolences to you and your family. Much love.

    - Lori

  37. Comment by Bridget | 08.7.2009 | 1:50 pm

    That is very beautiful and from the heart – thank you for sharing. God bless you and the children. May you all find comfort within the love surrounding you.

  38. Comment by Nina | 08.7.2009 | 1:51 pm

    beautiful. what a wonderful legacy of love your children have to help them through this hard time and throughout their life. I hope you can be at peace.

  39. Comment by Jo | 08.7.2009 | 1:52 pm

    Thanks Elden. That was such a touching tribute and I enjoyed reading it very much. Your words brought me peace. I pray for peace and comfort for you and your family.

  40. Comment by Garmon | 08.7.2009 | 1:53 pm

    Thanks again for sharing so much of your lives with us, and for teaching us how to handle adversity with strength and humor. We’re all better because of Susan’s example.


  41. Comment by Natalie | 08.7.2009 | 1:57 pm

    Stumbled across this site after watching the Tour de France then following you on Twitter, and felt compelled to write and leave you a message(through my tears) after reading the blogs. Just wanted to thankyou for providing a lot of people all over the world, an insight into your life and to wish you and your family peace, health and happiness.

    Win Susan!!! x

  42. Comment by Caroline | 08.7.2009 | 1:57 pm

    I rode my local road climb last night – a ride I’ve been trying to crack an hour on for a long time now. The closest I’d come was 1:03. Last night, though, I made up my mind that I was going to do it for Susan. And I did… 59 minutes. Thank you Susan for the inspiration.

  43. Comment by monkeywebb | 08.7.2009 | 2:02 pm

    Continued thanks for sharing so much over the years. The impact is indeed immeasurable.

  44. Comment by Justin | 08.7.2009 | 2:02 pm

    Having written too many obituaries for my own family members, including one for my sister who died of liver cancer at age 39, your heartfelt obituary for Susan is a wonderful tribute.

    Thank you for sharing, and leading the charge to end this disease.

  45. Comment by bobbieh | 08.7.2009 | 2:02 pm

    I will be there with you in spirit on Monday ~
    Much love and hugs to you all ~

  46. Comment by Don | 08.7.2009 | 2:03 pm

    You have invited all of us into your life, and I thank you.
    My family and I will continue to Pray for Gods Blessings upon you and your family. It sounds like Susan’s legacy will surely be an amazing one, touching far too many lives to imagine, THAT is wonderful. Stay strong… for you, for the kids. We all love you guys and are Praying for you!


  47. Comment by Randoboy | 08.7.2009 | 2:03 pm


    Said my piece here:

    Our prayers go out to you and the kids.


  48. Comment by LT | 08.7.2009 | 2:04 pm

    You and your family continually make me want to be a better person. This tribute was fantastic. I hope we can all improve by your example, thanks for sharing your experiences.
    P.S. The Alpine Loop just became my ride for tomorrow, I have to see that tribute!

  49. Comment by Debbie | 08.7.2009 | 2:04 pm

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. There are no words or actions that will suffice for the sadness that the we feel for you. Thank you for sharing her story with us; her strength, courage, and legacy will not be lost.

    Sending wishes of peace for you and yours.

  50. Comment by Mom on the Run | 08.7.2009 | 2:05 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful tribute to your wife.

  51. Comment by Julie | 08.7.2009 | 2:06 pm

    Heard about your dear, brave Susan on PW’s site. I am praying for you and your children, that God will bring the rainbow in all of your lives that most certainly comes after the rain. I know my God can do this. One day, we will be together. Live strong till that great day!

  52. Comment by Stephanie Akerman | 08.7.2009 | 2:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing your stories about your beautiful family. I’m so sorry for your loss and will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    God Bless

  53. Comment by hoon | 08.7.2009 | 2:10 pm

    we’ll ride for you guys. very touching and sweet post. again our thoughts are with you.


  54. Comment by Sally | 08.7.2009 | 2:10 pm

    Thank you for continuing to share with all of us Susan’s story even during this very difficult time for you. Please know that you and your children are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Peace and Blessings

  55. Comment by Jeff | 08.7.2009 | 2:10 pm

    Bon Courage Susan.

    I had heard of your battle, and your name was on the (much too long) list taped to my toolbox lid, as I fixed peoples bicycles on this years (my 13th) Pan Mass Challenge. Sadly, yours was not the only name I added for this year.

  56. Comment by NEuling | 08.7.2009 | 2:11 pm

    hi Elden, I’m so sorry for your loss. Take care– Nigel

  57. Comment by Dave Criswell | 08.7.2009 | 2:12 pm

    Fatty, thanks for being so open with Susan’s fight and how your family has worked through it. Your experiences have inspired thousands that will help her legacy live on for a long, long time.

  58. Comment by Ken | 08.7.2009 | 2:12 pm

    “When I ask myself, “What could be the purpose — the point — of Susan having cancer?” I think that Susan proved something essential: sometimes we have to make our own purpose from the circumstances we’ve been given.”

    This is brilliant and inspiring.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us through this site. I think, for a lot of people, what you have done is humanize cancer in a very real way. Susan is not a statistic; her story, your family’s story is real and offers us courage and hope.


  59. Comment by Terry in Indiana | 08.7.2009 | 2:12 pm

    I’m so sorry for your family! Susan was blessed to have such a loving husband and children, as you were blessed by her. She sounds like such a beautiful person. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  60. Comment by whitney | 08.7.2009 | 2:13 pm

    “Susan remained positive — from her easy chair, she could still wield her acetylene torch.”

    A woman after my own heart! — facing a daunting challenge, refuses to lie down and quit … and instead, keeps on kicking butt! (with a torch, no less!)

    Fatty, thank you for sharing your Susan with us. Her story, communicated through the lens of you, her husband, has touched me (and thousands of other readers — if not more) more than you might ever know.

    She is an inspiration, as are you, as are all members of Team Fatty. We’ll keep fighting, because this is far from over!

    Peace — whitney

  61. Comment by melissa | 08.7.2009 | 2:13 pm

    My deepest sympathies – to you and your beautiful children and all Susan’s family. She inspired and encouraged to the end.

  62. Comment by Wes | 08.7.2009 | 2:13 pm


  63. Comment by Susan W. | 08.7.2009 | 2:16 pm

    You have my deepest condolences. My prayers are with you and your children, for peace and continued loving memories of your Susan.

  64. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 08.7.2009 | 2:16 pm

    That WIN just made me cry, I cannot imagine what it did to you. Wow.
    And thank you for allowing us to donate on behalf of the children, I am happy about that.

  65. Comment by Minx | 08.7.2009 | 2:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing Susan’s story – I was lucky enough to get one of her bracelets, which I love. I will be thinking of you from the UK on Monday. Love and strength to you and your family.

  66. Comment by Barbara | 08.7.2009 | 2:18 pm

    Beautiful words about a beautiful woman. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  67. Comment by Haven (used to be Kt) | 08.7.2009 | 2:19 pm

    Wow. Just… wow.

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing your fight with us. Thank you, Elden, for writing it and sharing with us, and giving us something to do to help fight.

    Like the others here, I’ll be with you in spirit on Monday.


    (PS: to whoever wrote those messages on the road: you are an angel. It’s perfect!)

  68. Comment by Robbi | 08.7.2009 | 2:20 pm

    I am sitting here in tears for a woman I did not know, yet feel like I did know through your site. That is a testimony to the fact that she and your family did the job you set out to do when you began her story – reach people and make a difference in this world. I am so sorry for your loss.

  69. Comment by Kelly | 08.7.2009 | 2:26 pm

    I’ve popped over here because PW mentioned you. After reading your touching story and about your wonderful wife I just want to say I am so sorry for your loss. Ironically, I just got back from a good friend’s funeral who also died of cancer this week. I do feel those who leave us are in a better place. It just makes it sad for those who are still here. I will pray for peace for your family in the coming months.

  70. Comment by Rich Wielgosz | 08.7.2009 | 2:29 pm

    Beautiful words for a man’s beautiful family. I only recently discovered your blog (thanks Lance) but I am deeply saddened.

    Be Strong,
    No Chain!,

    -* and most of all *-


  71. Comment by Nancy | 08.7.2009 | 2:30 pm

    I have loved reading your words. You have really shown all of us how incredible Susan was. What an amazing woman. She will be so missed. I think you’re a very talented writer and an incredible father and husband. I am thinking of you during this very difficult time.

  72. Comment by Liz J | 08.7.2009 | 2:31 pm

    I just saw on PW’s blog the news about your beautiful wife. I extend my sympathy to your entire family over this huge loss. I am so sorry. I will keep you all in my prayers, and also will pray that someday this horrible disease will no longer take away our loved ones ever again.

  73. Comment by Fran | 08.7.2009 | 2:31 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, your children and all family and friends. Susan’s earthly journey may be over but I assure you, and this I know beyond a shadow of doubt, that you will be the one to carry her legacy forward. She made a difference. And she will continue on making a difference. Bless you, my friend, for your honesty, for sharing Susan’s story so we all could help you make it through and fight this horrible cancer that knows no bounds. It will not defeat us.May God bless you and wrap His loving arms around you in the days ahead.

  74. Comment by Fritz | 08.7.2009 | 2:31 pm

    And now it’s my turn to get choked up. That is a lovely tribute to your wife. I wish I could make it to the funeral.

  75. Comment by MV Pat | 08.7.2009 | 2:31 pm

    My thoughts are with you and your family. Susan was not only a fighter….she was a WARRIOR ! God Bless.

  76. Comment by Hannah | 08.7.2009 | 2:31 pm

    Susan and you are a truly wonderful inspiration. Thinking good thoughts and shedding tears for your family.


  77. Comment by Alyssa | 08.7.2009 | 2:32 pm

    Fatty, it is largely thanks to you that my partner and I took up the Livestrong Challenge last summer. We have both lost, we both hate cancer and we will keep fighting—for my partner’s mom Jen, for my cousin Becca, for Susan, and for everyone else.

    Peace and love.

  78. Comment by Ryan | 08.7.2009 | 2:36 pm

    So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Your words are truly beautiful and make me feel like I knew Susan. I hope you can make it to Leadville – I’m sure that’s what she would have wanted. I’m heading out mountain biking tomorrow and you, Susan and your family will be on my mind.

  79. Comment by Ann | 08.7.2009 | 2:37 pm

    Fatty, I’m sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your lovely children.

  80. Comment by Sarah | 08.7.2009 | 2:37 pm

    A beautiful and fitting tribute to a beautiful soul.

    What a wonderful legacy she leaves with her children.

    You and she were so very lucky to have found one another.

  81. Comment by Katie | 08.7.2009 | 2:43 pm

    What a blessing for your children to know that their mother continues on through them. Unfortunately, there is no handbook for what to say when something like this happens. They are blessed to have a father so gifted with words. Your strength and determination continue to be extremely admirable. Thank you for sharing at this difficult time.

  82. Comment by Flying Ute | 08.7.2009 | 2:44 pm


    That was very well written. You have an amazing gift to express yourself. You inspire me.

    I choked up to see that “win” pain on the road. In fact, I’m heading out to go see it again with my own eyes.

    Keep the faith!


  83. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.7.2009 | 2:45 pm

    Well said, Fatty.

  84. Comment by jennifer | 08.7.2009 | 2:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing Susan with us.

  85. Comment by ann | 08.7.2009 | 2:47 pm

    You must know that when you wake up on Tuesday morning, and the mornings that will follow – all of these loving people, with arms to hug in person and the virtual arms of so many cyber-friends, all of these people (all of us) will be right here. Small comfort, but you have proven that you will make the best of any situation. Prayers all around.

  86. Comment by VT_Rob | 08.7.2009 | 2:48 pm

    Elden and Family, thank you for sharing this with us. I wasn’t choked up until I saw the Twin Six tribute. How simple and elegant. Kudos, guys.

    My family and I continue to think of you during this difficult time.

  87. Comment by Carolyn | 08.7.2009 | 2:48 pm

    Precious memories are yours forever – and no-one can ever take them from you. I’m in Australia, and our love goes out to you.

  88. Comment by CeeCee | 08.7.2009 | 2:49 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing all these months. I know it would have been easier to go it alone (so to speak), with just the support of family and friends.

    I know you feel so lucky to have had Susan in your life, for so many reasons, but she was lucky too. You are a good man.

    May grace and peace find your whole family in the days and weeks to come.

  89. Comment by Christy | 08.7.2009 | 2:51 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. You and Susan both are incredible examples and have changed the world in a beautiful way.

    Your family is in my prayers.

  90. Comment by Casey | 08.7.2009 | 2:53 pm

    Beautiful, Elden. In spite of the pain, in spite of the loss, you and Susan and your children have healed a part of the universe with the love you have for one another and the hope you inspire. Well done to you all.

  91. Comment by Lizzy | 08.7.2009 | 2:53 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman. Bless her, and you, and your beautiful and talented kids.

    Fight like Susan.

  92. Comment by Brandy | 08.7.2009 | 2:54 pm

    Well done Fatty, well done. Moving tribute to Susan.

    peace & love,

  93. Comment by Lucretia | 08.7.2009 | 2:55 pm

    I would hope that given the same circumstances, i could half as much strength and compaasion given your wife. Look to the Lord, He will get you through it.

  94. Comment by judi | 08.7.2009 | 2:56 pm


    thank you for sharing your life with us.

  95. Comment by Anita | 08.7.2009 | 2:56 pm

    You and your family have touched my heart! I don’t know you, found about Susan on another site. I check everyday and lay in bed thinking about you and your children. Please be ok in your life without Susan, that is what she would have wanted for all of you.

  96. Comment by Janet | 08.7.2009 | 2:56 pm

    Without having any idea what to say, I want to say something. What a beautiful woman, legacy and family. I pray God’s blessings on you.

  97. Comment by Pedalwest | 08.7.2009 | 2:58 pm

    Elden – I recently became familiar with your blog/website and I have enjoyed reading all the good stuff about cycling, but I also found that I needed to read everything about Susan. You are a gifted writer, a wonderful husband, a rockin’ uber-dad, and a tireless cancer-fighting advocate. I bet you’re pretty good with a bicycle, too. But all this doesn’t matter to me as much as your endearing love for your family. I thank you for Susan with us readers. God bless the Nelsons.

  98. Comment by jwbikes | 08.7.2009 | 2:58 pm


    The tears are flowing here……


  99. Comment by Beth | 08.7.2009 | 2:58 pm

    What an inspired tribute from Twin6; simple yet elegant. I choked up at their website and choked up again when I saw it on the trail.

    Thoughts are with you and your kids; day at a time…each one is different.

  100. Comment by Sarah Goodyear | 08.7.2009 | 3:01 pm

    You and Susan and your kids are a light for all of us.

    I’ll be wearing my Fat Cyclist jersey tomorrow as I ride the streets of Manhattan.

    Peace to all of you.

  101. Comment by Paolo | 08.7.2009 | 3:05 pm

    Susan inspired me for the black and pink bike.

    My wife’s family has a legacy of breast cancer survivors and fighters.

    We send you our sweetest condolences to you and your family.


  102. Comment by Esther Sunday | 08.7.2009 | 3:08 pm

    Followed you recently via Ree. Sending love and hugs to you and your family.

  103. Comment by Mike Roadie | 08.7.2009 | 3:10 pm


    … . … … … …
    . . . . . . . . . . .
    . . . . . . . . .
    . . . … . . …. .


  104. Comment by Paul Lundgren | 08.7.2009 | 3:12 pm

    Much love, Eldon. Squeeze those beautiful children of yours for those of us who can’t do so personally.

  105. Comment by Matt | 08.7.2009 | 3:13 pm


    I can’t say I understand your sorrow, but I hope the words I’ve read when loosing someone close offer you the solace that I found when I first read it.

    High Flight
    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air.
    Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
    I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
    And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

    Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
    No 412 squadron, RCAF
    Killed 11 December 1941

    sleep in peace susan…

  106. Comment by justrun | 08.7.2009 | 3:14 pm

    Susan, you, and your family are my inspiration often, and now more than ever.

    On August 15 I’m running a race that I’m really not prepared for, and not necessarily looking forward to because of that. But I can do it, and I have you all to thank for that. I’m turning one of my pink jerseys into a ‘FIGHT LIKE SUSAN’ jersey for the event. It’ll get me up that mountain.

    Thank you. And peace to all of you.

  107. Comment by Sprite's Keeper | 08.7.2009 | 3:15 pm

    Yesterday I cried tears of sadness for Susan and your family. Today I’m crying tears of happiness for the wonderful life she’s led and the people she’s inspired in her life.
    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  108. Comment by Vito | 08.7.2009 | 3:20 pm

    Very touching…I have tears in my eyes. Thoughts and prayers go out to you “Fatty” and your entire family. I know that Susan will be deeply missed by all of you, but I know also that you will all have the strength to move on and keep fighting the good fight against cancer. I wish you and your family all the best.

    Nigity – “Always keep a smile in your heart.” I know you will…

  109. Comment by Julia M | 08.7.2009 | 3:23 pm

    Sharing your sorrow and wishing you comfort. I have two wonderful friends who are participating in the Susan G. Komen San Francisco 60 mile 3-day walk this October… I’ve made a donation in Susan’s memory. Your wife’s legacy will continue through you and your children.

  110. Comment by Barb | 08.7.2009 | 3:24 pm

    Dear Fatty ~ I’ve never left a Comment before on your site, but I just want to express my sympathy to you and your family.

    I will be walking The Breast Cancer 3-Day in Michigan one week from today and I will be walking in honor and in the memory of your blessed sweet wife and mother of your children.

    May you all find peace knowing that so many people are praying for you.

  111. Comment by bikesgonewild | 08.7.2009 | 3:25 pm

    …much love…

  112. Comment by Linda | 08.7.2009 | 3:27 pm

    That’s a lovely, touching tribute to a wonderful woman. While I never actually met Susan, there has always been this feeling that I knew her very well. Sharing her story here was very brave and many, many times I was just in awe of her strength. I think so many of us, reading your stories of Susan, ended up just loving her and will continue to be inspired by her. Thank you for that.

  113. Comment by Dawn in CA | 08.7.2009 | 3:28 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Susan sounds like a wonderful woman, and I am so touched by your story. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  114. Comment by Carol in NC | 08.7.2009 | 3:30 pm

    I am so very sorry. You and your family are and will be in my prayers.

  115. Comment by Rikki | 08.7.2009 | 3:30 pm

    Dear Fatty and Family,

    I stumbled upon your site from another (quite unrelated one). I have been so touched to read about the love your family shares and I am moved to tears each time I read about you and your dear Susan. I am sorry for your pain. Please know that your love comes through so clearly in your posts. My prayers and wishes are with you and yours.

    God be with you till you meet again…….

  116. Comment by Michael in TN | 08.7.2009 | 3:32 pm

    We lost my wife’s mother to cancer in 2006, 2 weeks after the birth of our first child. It is for her and for Susan that I decided to join Team Fatty. I’m looking forward to lining up with the nearly 200 other members of Team Fatty in Philly to honor and to ride for Susan.

    Allez Fatty!

  117. Comment by nono | 08.7.2009 | 3:33 pm

    It is a beautiful tribute, thank you for sharing it with all of us. The picture of “win” with a tear started my tears flowing again today.

    Allez Fatty, Allez.

    Peace, courage, strength and calm thoughts to you, your children, and extended family.

  118. Comment by Rhonda | 08.7.2009 | 3:35 pm

    I have no words to express how sorry I am for your loss other than to say I will be lifting you up to God for His comfort. My sincerest condolences.

  119. Comment by Charisa | 08.7.2009 | 3:36 pm

    Sooooo beautiful. And I’m so glad you have such good friends. Thank you for sharing during such a difficult time! You continue to be in my prayers.

  120. Comment by Gina | 08.7.2009 | 3:41 pm

    I was introduced to your blog from ThePioneerWoman… I am so Sorry to hear of your loss and know she has got to be proud of you for all that you did for the fight for cancer. :) Praying for you and your family!!!!

  121. Comment by Janet | 08.7.2009 | 3:44 pm

    I just got the news over at Pioneer Woman’s website. I was very sorry to hear it. Please know that my prayers are with you and yours at this time.

  122. Comment by Shannon | 08.7.2009 | 3:45 pm

    A very warm and loving tribute you wrote about Susan. I am truly sorry about your loss. God never intended for us to die and this is one reason why it feels so painful and unnatural. You and your little ones will be in my prayers.

  123. Comment by MattC | 08.7.2009 | 3:45 pm

    Fatty, thanks so much for sharing that wonderful tribute to Susan. It was hard to read thru my misty eyes…as are all the comments. I hope you find some peace knowing that you and your family have touched the lives of SO MANY. I’m glad that you are surrounded by family and friends in this time of sadness. As was mentioned by Brian previously (1:38pm) I feel like I have also lost a dear friend, even thou we’ve never met. It is and shall remain an honor to carry on THE FIGHT in Susans name. LiveStrong, and Fight like Susan!

  124. Comment by Tony | 08.7.2009 | 3:47 pm

    Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    This morning’s ride is dedicated to Susan.

  125. Comment by Tony Ketron | 08.7.2009 | 3:55 pm

    Bless you and your family and thank you for sharing your story-I hope the rest of your family has an outlet to cope like you do-the bicycle is such an amazing tool for contemplation and reflection-your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  126. Comment by Jessica J. | 08.7.2009 | 3:59 pm

    Your love is true love and that is the testament for the world. Susan is so strong and beautiful & your kids sound amazing. I want to say that you are surrounded by LOVE!

  127. Comment by Lisa | 08.7.2009 | 4:06 pm

    A beautiful tribute to Susan and to your life together. Your children are lucky to have you. My family will be with you in our thoughts and prayers…from Winterport, Maine. Stay strong.

  128. Comment by Jae S | 08.7.2009 | 4:06 pm

    I started reading ur blog when my Dad was diagnosed w stage 3 colon cancer. It has given me strength and I find myself reading it at night when I can no longer sleep b/c ur blog somehow soothes me. I can not say why. My family has lost so many loved ones to cancer, that it is hard for me to remain positive. I can not picture my life w/out my Daddy. I do not believe that everything happens for a reason, I think we create the reason! We become the reason. You and Susan created your own reasons and have shared them w us (ur faithful readers) Thank you. Thank you for sharing your story w us, w me. I will continue praying for u, and for all of us out there that r “winning” our own battles.


  129. Comment by Brad | 08.7.2009 | 4:11 pm

    Fatty, many thoughts are with you and your family during this time. What a wonderful tribute for an obviously wonderful wife, mom, daughter and sister. Susan will always look after you and give you that tailwind we need. Peace be with you, the boys and twins.

  130. Comment by Logan | 08.7.2009 | 4:13 pm

    I have nothing new to add to what others have already written, but do know that you and Susan are an inspiration to me in ways you could never know. You make me want to be a better person. Your sharing of Susan’s story helped me and my girlfriend to quit smoking and encouraged me to donate several times to the LAF. God bless you, Susan, and the kids.

  131. Comment by Barbara | 08.7.2009 | 4:15 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to Susan and to your kids. From Jane Austen’s tombstone in Winchester Cathedral (written by her brother):

    The benevolence of her heart, the sweetness of her temper, and the extraordinary endowments of her mind obtained the regard of all who knew her and the warmest love of her intimate connections. Their grief is in proportion to their affection, they know their loss to be irreparable, but in their deepest affliction they are consoled by a firm though humble hope that her charity, devotion, faith and purity have rendered her soul acceptable in the sight of her REDEEMER.

  132. Comment by Thomas Sharpe | 08.7.2009 | 4:15 pm

    As Peter Cook and Dudley Moore said: If I was God I’d have left cancer out…

  133. Comment by Lance Dobson | 08.7.2009 | 4:15 pm

    Our thoughts are with you, all had a moment to reflect this morning on our ride in New Zealand, Susan’s story has touched us all.

  134. Comment by Gibbles T. Chimp | 08.7.2009 | 4:25 pm

    I’m supposed to be a grump. An aging, 43 year old punk rocker; pessimistic, surly and sneering at the world.
    Why am I crying?

    Thank you Susan.

  135. Comment by Azriel Abramovich | 08.7.2009 | 4:29 pm

    I am a bloke who never cries. I promised myself I won’t cry. I failed.

    Thanks for letting us in, fatty.

    Rest Susan, you have fought hard and long. Others will win (and are) thanks to you, so you are a winner many times over.


  136. Comment by Erine | 08.7.2009 | 4:33 pm

    God bless you and yours, Elden. We are thinking of you you all.

  137. Comment by sllym | 08.7.2009 | 4:35 pm

    I, like many others, write this with tears streaming down my face. What a lovely tribute to your beautiful wife. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  138. Comment by Robin | 08.7.2009 | 4:35 pm

    I’m am someone who never leaves comments on blogs, but I am in tears for the loss your family has suffered. Your children are lucky to have had such a wonderful mother, but, thankfully, still have you — a loving and attentive father who will continue to care for them in her absence. Your children are in good hands. I am considerably overdue in getting my yearly “female” exam. No excuse for me, other than being busy, which is no excuse at all. I am calling first thing Monday morning to make that appointment. I’m glad I came upon your blog to refocus myself. Love and best wishes to every one of you.

  139. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 08.7.2009 | 4:36 pm

    Beautiful tribute. Thank you so much for sharing the wonderfulness of Susan with us.

    Core team – you guys rock. As does Twin Six.

    Big hug!

  140. Comment by rexinsea | 08.7.2009 | 4:43 pm


  141. Comment by Phil | 08.7.2009 | 4:44 pm

    In tears, touching tribute.

    Allez Fatty. Fight like Susan!

  142. Comment by Lisa B in Seattle | 08.7.2009 | 4:45 pm

    Brilliant. Peace to you, your boys and your girls. May the pain of your loss be overwhelmed by the love that surrounds you.

  143. Comment by meredith | 08.7.2009 | 4:46 pm


    I have been reading your blog for years (from even before the Random Reviewer) and have never posted. But breast cancer has touched many people in my life, and I desperately hoped that things would turn out differently for Susan. I am terribly sorry that they did not. All I can share is a poem by Hannah Senesh:

    There are stars up above,
    so far away we only see their light
    long, long after the star itself is gone.
    And so it is with people we loved —
    their memories keep shining ever brightly
    though their time with us is done.
    But the stars that light up the darkest night,
    these are the lights that guide us.
    As we live our days, these are the ways we remember.

  144. Comment by Cheryl Kiss | 08.7.2009 | 4:52 pm

    May Heavenly Father embrace you and your family at this time. Your blog gave me the ability to reach out to many many women regarding how important Mammograms are. Thank You! You did a great job Fatty….I admire you for having the ability and such deep love to care for Susan. She will meet you on the other side Honey! Families are FOREVER!

  145. Comment by Bomber | 08.7.2009 | 4:52 pm

    What can you say? Go Fatty! Go Susan! Love and Best Wishes.

  146. Comment by Emily | 08.7.2009 | 4:55 pm

    Beautiful tribute. You and your family are in my prayers. Eternal marriage is a blessing and a comfort in times such as these. May you be surrounded by the love and comfort of family, friends and our Heavenly Father.

  147. Comment by Bomber | 08.7.2009 | 4:56 pm

    ps. Take some bloody time off as well!

  148. Comment by Carl | 08.7.2009 | 4:58 pm

    A beautiful tribute!!!

  149. Comment by Mtbnomore | 08.7.2009 | 5:01 pm

    Fatty, I don’t know what to say besides thanks. I can’t begin to imagine how hard sharing your story has been during these last few months especially. A friend of mine from college and I are fairly avid cyclists, and when we talk on the phone you always come up. When we spoke the other day, we were both in tears. Two 26 year old men who push themselves towards physically challenging goals just so we can brag about it, were sobbing. You and your family have meant that much to us, and will continue to do so. In fact, we look forward to doing the Livestrong Challenge and the 100 Miles of Nowhere next year (unfortunately, we couldn’t do it this year because of our jobs) while wearing pink jerseys.

    Thanks again, man. We’re here to keep fighting.

  150. Comment by Mary | 08.7.2009 | 5:03 pm

    You and your family are in my prayers. Your words above are beautiful tribute to a wonderful wife, mother.
    God bless you all.

  151. Comment by Rob | 08.7.2009 | 5:11 pm

    Hey Fatty,

    I’m lost for words, but like so many feel so grateful to have been able to follow your family’s journey over the past months.

    To witness the courage that your family has shown and is still showing is nothing short of incredible!!!!

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Stay strong……….



  152. Comment by Mark Llewellyn | 08.7.2009 | 5:13 pm

    Susan was a very special lady whose life has touched far more people than she will ever realize. She did win and so much more!

  153. Comment by ChefJT | 08.7.2009 | 5:13 pm

    I mourn a friend I’ve never met
    a friend who shows me how fragile life is
    a friend who was stronger than I could ever hope to be
    a friend who never gave up
    and, in a way, has finally won
    She hasn’t left us
    cancer hasn’t beaten her
    because she will never be forgotten
    She’ll be remembered every day when we ride
    She’ll be remembered every night in our prayers

  154. Comment by ToddBS | 08.7.2009 | 5:23 pm

    Such a simple, yet powerful message: “win”. Three simple letters that have been transformed from a way of life for some into a way to live life.

    Keep up the good work, Fatty, as all of us know you will.

    Be strong, ride strong. Live strong.

  155. Comment by Susan | 08.7.2009 | 5:36 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss, Fatty. I am so happy, though, that you see your beautiful wife Susan in your children. Look for her in their smile, in their eyes, in their God-given gifts. Your story is beautiful and a wonderful tribute to a woman you so obviously loved and adored. And, as ToddBS said before me …

    Be strong, ride strong, Live strong. You are all in our prayers.

    Over at “RaisinToast

  156. Comment by Claudia | 08.7.2009 | 5:39 pm

    Thank you for your beautiful blog post tribute to your beautiful wife, and for sharing your family’s story with all of us.

    I am 50 and slow, but compete in triathlons to raise funds for cancer organizations. The next time I want to quit while training, I will think of you and your wife, and her indomitable spirit.

    My Sunday ride this week is for her.

  157. Comment by Hennifer | 08.7.2009 | 5:47 pm

    my heart goes out to you and your family. thank you (and Susan) so very much for sharing her story!

  158. Comment by Julie | 08.7.2009 | 5:56 pm

    That was a beautiful tribute to your wife. The T6 website and BikeSnobNYC blog entry about Susan were so wonderful. Testimony to the impact that you, Susan and your family have made on all our lives.

  159. Comment by Heidi | 08.7.2009 | 6:03 pm

    Just glancing at the photos, I’m tering up and I know I don’t have what it takes to read this right now. Later tonight I shall pour a glass of wine, offer a toast to Susan, read this entry–and then allow myself to partake in some Blubber Therapy(tm). Ah, the public service you provide, Fatty!

  160. Comment by Cindy | 08.7.2009 | 6:07 pm

    Elden, that was the most moving tribute I have ever read. I am speechless. What a wonderful husband and father you are. Stay strong & know millions of us are pulling for you and your kids.


  161. Comment by gregc | 08.7.2009 | 6:14 pm

    I’m not sure I can add anything that hasn’t been said so eloquently already. Although we have never met in person, I feel honored to consider you and your family friends. For what it is worth, I am one of the more than 500 Team Fatty, fighting for Susan team-members and would never have joined the cause if not for Susan’s super power (you always thought it was your super power, we know better). Her legacy is only just beginning to be known.

    I hope to meet you in Austin

  162. Comment by Scott | 08.7.2009 | 6:15 pm

    Tears. My best to you and your family.

    This is a wonderful quote:

    “When I ask myself, “What could be the purpose — the point — of Susan having cancer?” I think that Susan proved something essential: sometimes we have to make our own purpose from the circumstances we’ve been given.”

  163. Comment by Jay | 08.7.2009 | 6:22 pm

    Marvelous. Not the pain or grief, which will last for awhile before the scar tissue forms in your heart, allowing you and the kids some relief; but the sharing of Susan’s personal greatness. I think there are many wonderful people that we never hear about. I wish everyone could have known my grandfather, for example. I’m glad you have shared something of your and Susan’s life with us. Cyberspace can be impersonal and cold, but this is one glowing warm spot. Thanks!

  164. Comment by LB | 08.7.2009 | 6:22 pm

    I feel your loss, I lost my husband in April of this year after watching him battle diabetes and just about every complication that one person can have with that terrible disease. Thankfully he went quickly and painlessly when a blood clot moved to his lungs. It is not easy watch someone you love fight to live a normal life (15 years in his case). There is a sense of relief that the one you love is no longer in pain and a sense of loss that they are no longer in your life. My husband was a true hero, he refused to give in to the constant pain that no medication or physical therapy could relieve. He didn’t lose his war either, he won, he didn’t die in pain in the hospital (his greatest fear), he went fast at home, for that I will always be grateful. It is a bittersweet ending to a beautiful life, the healing process is so much more long and more complicated than I thought it would be but I owe it to his strength of character to move on and cherish our 30 years that we enjoyed with each other (high school sweet hearts). I have learned that whatever emotion comes over me, let it happen; I feel his presence with me every day and hear his voice telling me I can do it when I think I can’t take it any more. Just remember what ever you and the kids feel is the right feeling, there is no manual on grief, let it happen, it will take you off guard, like when you want to turn to your partner and say “did you see that?” and realize you can’t. I still talk to my husband daily (when no one is around, of course) and that helps, I hope it is a habit I never break because it keeps him alive and with me at all times. Let the emotions happen, look at and cherish all the pictures, laugh at the memories and cry for your loss, it’s all ok. Keep her in your heart, as long as you and your children remember her, she is still alive, angels do exist and you were lucky enough to have one with you, now she is watching over you; i does not get easier, don’t let the people tell you that, I still miss my brother who died almost 40 years ago when I was a child and my father who has been gone 9 years. Now, I cherish and honour them by living my life to it’s fullest and appreciating what and who I have in my life now, my friends and family are my greatest treasures, they give me space or smother me, they seem to know what I need when. Accept what comes your way, if you need space, don’t be afraid to let everyone know, they will understand. Most of all, keep the memories alive and Susan will live forever. You are not alone, those of us who have been through your pain know, keep writing your memories down in cyberspace so we can laugh and cry with you.

  165. Comment by Carla | 08.7.2009 | 6:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. I rode 35 miles today alone – but not – I also rode with Susan. My heart breaks for you – but you and the children will be fine – Susan has made you strong – you know how to do things you never thought you could do. One foot in front of the other – that is all you can do. When my husband died when I was 27 with a 1 year old – I was scared – but I relied on family and friends and I went on one day at a time.

    Prayers are with you.

  166. Comment by Tammy Merryweather | 08.7.2009 | 6:37 pm

    “There are victories of the soul and spirit. Sometimes even if you lose, you win.” (Elie Wiesel)

    Beautiful tribute. Besides being gratified by learning that Susan was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, and acknowledging that I probably applied a few of the several shades of red that ended up in her hair, I am humbled to read the finer points of her personality. The things you see of her in your children are a gift. My prayers are with you all as you learn to move forward without Susan.

    With the number of people Susan has influenced with her fighting spirit, you and your family will never be without positive reminders of her life here.

    Thank you for sharing her story.

  167. Pingback by It’s about Tim » It’s about TMI? | 08.7.2009 | 6:37 pm

    [...] going to be a post where I questioned how much of an online presence I wanted to allow. Then I saw a post from what I’ve thought for a while is one of the best places on the web. Elden Nelson is an [...]

  168. Comment by Karen | 08.7.2009 | 6:54 pm

    Fatty, thank you for sharing your life with susan and letting us get to know you and your family. I feel honored and blessed reading your blog. You and your story have inspired me to become a better friend, a better lover/partner, and a better neighbor. Not that I was lacking in this area before, but I can do better. Thank you and god bless you and your family!

  169. Comment by Jeremy | 08.7.2009 | 6:59 pm

    Beautiful post Fatty. You and your family will be in my prayers during this difficult time.

  170. Comment by alicia | 08.7.2009 | 7:01 pm

    I was one of the Pioneer women fans who donated to the cancer benefit and have since become a fan of yours too. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. May God keep you close to his heart. There is nothing God will put on us that he won’t see us through.

  171. Comment by Donna | 08.7.2009 | 7:05 pm

    Wonderful words about a wonderful woman. I hope you feel the love and support that each of us has for you and your children. That is real. Thank you for being the person that you are and sharing your life with us. My thoughts are with you all.

  172. Comment by sandy | 08.7.2009 | 7:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your amazing family with us. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. For all that you’ve shared, Susan will not only be with you all forever, but with all of us too. We are so lucky.

  173. Comment by Angie/sweetbabies00 | 08.7.2009 | 7:11 pm

    RIP Susan. My prayers go out to your family.

  174. Comment by Jill | 08.7.2009 | 7:14 pm

    Thank you for the touching tribute. I feel like I know her so much better. She lived an amazing life.

  175. Comment by Jen | 08.7.2009 | 7:18 pm

    This is a beautiful tribute…touching and heartbreaking, and inspiring and hopeful. My heart goes out to you, your children and everyone else whose life was enriched by knowing Susan. I am participating in the Maine Tri for a Cure this Sunday, 8/9, an all women’s triathlon that has raised over $350,000 for cancer research this year alone. I know Susan will be in my thoughts throughout the tri, and your family will be in my prayers. God bless you, and thank you for having the strength and eloquence to share this lovely post.

  176. Comment by J. Karlik | 08.7.2009 | 7:19 pm

    Eldon –

    I know this was not easy for you. As a spouse of a cancer survivor (my wife had colon cancer), I understand how brave and hard it was for you and your children to share Susan’s story.
    Your unselfish act has undoubtedly directly and indirectly saved many lives.
    You asked what the purpose was. I don’t have the answer but this may help:

    John 15:13
    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    Thank you and God bless.

  177. Comment by Annie | 08.7.2009 | 7:21 pm

    We continue to pray for you all.

    I blogged about you and Susan tonight. May God grant you comfort.

  178. Comment by scrappysue | 08.7.2009 | 7:25 pm

    the world is at a loss without her. so sorry for your loss. hugs from new zealand

  179. Comment by Charles | 08.7.2009 | 7:25 pm

    God Bless you and your family! See you in Austin

  180. Comment by Teresa | 08.7.2009 | 7:26 pm

    Just came over from The Pioneer Woman……………

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless.

  181. Comment by Lukas | 08.7.2009 | 7:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing, this time and through out the past few years that I’ve been reading.

    I’m so sorry, I’ll be thinking of you and sending strength to you and your family.

  182. Comment by Gladys | 08.7.2009 | 7:32 pm

    Bless you and your family. Let us not give up the fight against Cancer. Get your mammy’s grammed, get your BRCA tested and most of all LOVE one another.


  183. Comment by Pam | 08.7.2009 | 7:35 pm

    Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your family. I feel honored to know you, even though we’ve never met. Susan was truly an amazing and gifted woman. I hope you do get her novel published. Those neighborhood teenagers will want to know the ending, afterall. Take care. you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  184. Comment by Travis K. | 08.7.2009 | 7:38 pm

    I want to give my condolences to your family. I just lost my stepmother to breast cancer, and your post was most comforting. Susan was a fabulous wife and mother. Your family will be in my prayers.

  185. Comment by Tyler | 08.7.2009 | 7:41 pm


    I started wearing my LiveSTRONG band in 2004, shortly after they became available. I wore it first for cancer patients in general. In 2005, my grandfather was diagnosed with advanced renal cell carcinoma. I decided then that I wear it for him.

    Susan’s strength and courage in the face of her battle is now another reason why I wear this band.

    God bless.


  186. Comment by Amy in NJ | 08.7.2009 | 7:47 pm

    Oh, Elden. I am so sorry for you and the kids. How blessed are you to have loved her. How blessed are we to have been introduced to her!

  187. Comment by Siouxzi | 08.7.2009 | 7:49 pm

    Fatty, I didn’t comment yet as I wasn’t sure what to say, but this post touched me in so many ways I now have to write. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet Susan, she and I sound like kindred spirits and I know we would have gotten on famously.

    It’s beautiful that you took the time to mention what qualities each of your children share with their mother. Your observations are touching and will long be treasured by each of them.

    My mother too suffered from breast cancer and ultimately succumbed to lung cancer after a tough battle. Through it all my mom fought like Susan. She too was a creative type though originally more into interior design, then jewelry making. She had copious amounts of beading supplies and at one time this greatly annoyed my father. But during the last year of my mom’s life, after she found out her lung cancer was terminal she took all her love for beading and started Bead to Beat Cancer where she sold everything she made around her city and neighboring ones donating all the proceeds to cancer research. Just weeks before she passed, she even held an event at the local beading shop donating all her beads to others to make jewelry which they could buy or sell for research as well.

    Your wife and my mother were amazing women and hopefully they will continue to inspire beauty, compassion, creativity and love in those they knew and those who knew them from afar.

    My heart and thoughts are with you all as you move through this tough time. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  188. Comment by VA Biker | 08.7.2009 | 7:52 pm

    Elden, thanks for sharing. We should all be so lucky to share time with someone so kind and patient as you had with your dear wife.

    May peace be with you and your family.

  189. Comment by Lee | 08.7.2009 | 7:56 pm


  190. Comment by Dan T. | 08.7.2009 | 7:59 pm

    She truly knew how to LIVESTRONG! Thought and prayers to Susan, you, and your family. Although Susan’s battle had finally ended, her courage and spirit live on in everyone she has inspired and will continue to inspire. May she rest in peace.

  191. Comment by Terri | 08.7.2009 | 8:08 pm

    I only know of you and your family through Pioneer Woman’s web site and have visited your site a couple of times. Still I am crying for a total stranger but I truly am so sorry you and your family are going through this. Cliches can seem so trivial but time will ease the pain. May God bless you and ease your family’s hurt at this time.

  192. Comment by Andy | 08.7.2009 | 8:15 pm

    be there in spirit on Monday my friend……al thebest from GA…..hang in there. you have a great legacy…

  193. Comment by Cat | 08.7.2009 | 8:16 pm

    Win Susan & Allez Fatty made me tear up.

    You and Susan are so loved by so many, that is obvious. I thank you for sharing her story and inspiring me. You’ve reminded me again why it’s so important I ride to benefit cancer research. Allez indeed…

  194. Comment by Sarah | 08.7.2009 | 8:16 pm

    Still sending prayers your direction. So glad you have the children to carry on her legacy.

  195. Comment by Barry | 08.7.2009 | 8:23 pm

    I can only imagine how tough this post must have been to write for you. thanks so much for sharing this difficult time in your life with us all. i think all of us who spend a little too much time on two wheels have gained a new perspective from your gut wrenching entries. you are inspiring and as they say here in Ireland, legend…

  196. Comment by Aaron | 08.7.2009 | 8:27 pm

    What a wonderful tribute, Fatty. Thank you.

  197. Comment by Karen | 08.7.2009 | 8:42 pm

    I admire the fact that you were able to document this for your family and honor Susan at the same time – after attending a funeral this week for a dear friend who alos died of cancer, I can onoly say – we must all WIN FOR SUSAN!!!
    I stumbled upon your website from the Pioneer Woman and have been grateful ever since – I wish you all the bst in your ongoing stuggles and in raising your wonderful children. They really have remarkable parents

  198. Comment by Melody | 08.7.2009 | 8:42 pm

    Peace to you
    Eldon and your kids. Love to you all.

  199. Comment by Kelly | 08.7.2009 | 8:47 pm

    Dear all,
    My prayers will, most definitely, be with you all as your mourn the death of Susan – your wife, your mother, your friend, your daughter. What an amazing legacy she has left and she will live on in all of you. I know these words are empty because you all just want HER! I, too, lost my husband and the father of my three young children to cancer 2 years ago and hated to hear all of the comforting words because I just wanted HIM back. So, with that, know that I will pray and pray and pray for all of you!

  200. Comment by The Fellrath Family | 08.7.2009 | 8:52 pm

    We offer our condolences, though they will not be enough to get you through the dark night of grief. We can offer a thought, maybe to spark so light into night:

    She is Gone

    You can shed tears that she is gone

    or you can smile because she has lived.

    You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back

    or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

    Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her

    or you can be full of the love you shared.

    You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

    or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

    You can remember her and only that she’s gone

    or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

    You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

    or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on….


    Thank you for sharing a wonderful person with us,
    The Fellraths
    Columbus, OH

  201. Comment by the inadvertent farmer | 08.7.2009 | 8:52 pm

    I love the fact the you can see Susan in each of your children…she has left a beautiful legacy!

    Thought, prayers, and a few tears being shed for you and your family…I’m sorry for your loss but glad you have been and will always be blessed by knowing such a woman. Kim

  202. Comment by Kerry Mc | 08.7.2009 | 8:52 pm

    I come to you from Ree’s blog site. She has posted about you and Susan before,and that is where I read about your beautiful wife. My prayers are with you and your young family. I am inspired by the creative loving life Susan lead, and it just makes me want to keep building and shaping and forming and encouraging the lives of my young children. Thank you for sharing her. God’s love,and peace, and blessings to you and your family.

  203. Comment by Tasha | 08.7.2009 | 8:54 pm

    That was truly beautiful – *sniffle*. Again, in tears. We should all be so lucky to have that kind of love in our lives. My heart goes out to you and your family, Fatty…

  204. Comment by Mike | 08.7.2009 | 8:55 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing the background. It is unfortunate that it has to be in this way but gives me hope to never give up on my brothers fights and struggles with cancer. He may have sacrificed is hip and femur to his struggle but his fight continues. My fight, our fight continues. This IS my favorite blog, the first one I check everyday. It reminds me of truly why we are here on Earth. For each other. Susan’s fight will Livestrong in all of us.

    Thank you again.

  205. Comment by mommymae | 08.7.2009 | 9:00 pm

    my thoughts are with you and your family. i’m not sure how you finished that ride, but it must have been the love surrounding you.

  206. Comment by Big Mel | 08.7.2009 | 9:02 pm

    All the things you were so terrified about having to do a week ago, you are now doing with so much dignity.

    Beautiful …

    The ‘WIN’ with the teardrop is a beautiful reminder and I would be honored to wear a shirt or jersey in memoriam to Susan with that on it. It might be another way to raise money to continue the fight OR even the college fund which is VERY appropriate.

    God bless you all.

  207. Comment by BuzzLiteBoy | 08.7.2009 | 9:06 pm


    Thanks for your humanity, and the strength you and Susan have shown throughout. Peace be with you and your family. Your willingness to share this deeply personal struggle has been an inspiration to so many people, giving us reasons to do things beyond our own abilities. Know that we are your team, willing to ride with you and for you, supporting you at least in spirit as much as we can.


  208. Comment by mrskraft | 08.7.2009 | 9:20 pm

    As a wife who knows how much her husband loves her, I was moved to tears at your words on your wife. What a beautiful, wonderful woman who was so greatly loved by a beautiful, wonderful man.
    I do not know you or your family personally and was only “introduced” to you this evening through PW’s website; however, I feel like I have missed out on knowing a good friend.
    You and your children are in my prayers.

  209. Comment by Jessica v | 08.7.2009 | 9:24 pm

    I’ve read your blog for a long time and drew hope as my own parent succumbed to cancer.
    I can’t write a lot as I am on a phone in the middle of moving but I am thinking of you a d yours.

  210. Comment by mike | 08.7.2009 | 9:26 pm

    Susan’s courage, and yours, are inspiring. She’s at peace now. I hope you find some for yourself. Lean on freinds and family. That’s what they are there for. Hug your kids every day. It’ll help you both.

  211. Comment by Christine | 08.7.2009 | 9:27 pm

    Dear family of Susan
    I am not a cyclist, nor a long time reader of your blog. but my family and I have been touched by this kind of aggressive breast cancer, my mother in law, my daughter’s gran fought a tough fight and finally let go, 3 short years ago. My heart is with you and I send my love and prayers that your grieving will bring you solace and the memories and legacy that your wife and mother brought to you all will last a lifetime.

  212. Comment by David Bernstein | 08.7.2009 | 9:35 pm


    I had planned to be at Susan’s funeral, but will unfortunately be out of town on Monday. You have no idea how bad I feel that I can’t be there. As I’ve said in the past, I and my entire family send our love, thoughts and prayers to you, your children and your entire family.

    Our prayer is for strength, courage, wisdom and grace. You have all of these and I know that you and Susan have passed them to your children.

    I dedicated last night’s podcast to Susan. It was the absolute least I could do. It took me more takes than you’ll know to get out everything I had to say, and even then I know I didn’t do you or her justice.

    Peace to you and your family.


  213. Comment by BethyB | 08.7.2009 | 9:39 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I loved reading your story, espicially how you two met & about your children. They are blessed to have a Dad like you.

    If you have any questions when you are ready to finish Susan’s novel I can try to point you in the right direction. I work for a printer and I know many self or small publishers – I only offer because I know sometimes people don’t know how to publish a book, and it can be confusing but I know a few publishers who would treat you well.

    It’ll be a beautiful service Monday and we’re all thinking of you & your family. Take care.

  214. Comment by Janet Lyn | 08.7.2009 | 9:40 pm

    You and your precious children will get through this together, even when it hurts like hell, even when you wonder how to live without your sweet and brave wife Susan. You all have shown such great courage and endurance.

    Susan left you and your children with a gift that will help carry you through some of your grief…her love of the creative arts. Writing, reading, drawing, the arts can be such a comfort, an outlet when the grief is so raw. I know this well, from too much experience with grief. I hope your children will feel like they can each grab a notebook, a sketch pad and pour out their hurts and their hearts. Doesn’t take away the pain, but it helps somehow.

    We are all continuing to pray. Thank you for sharing with all of us your tremendously deep love for Susan. She had to know and take comfort in knowing that she was loved so well and so long. That kind of love endures forever.

  215. Comment by Rick B | 08.7.2009 | 10:06 pm

    I’m a 36 year old guy that cracks jokes at my wife when she cries at sappy movies. Well…I made it through half of your tribute before the eyes got soggy…ver nice. Again…so sorry and your family’s in my thoughts! Take care and I look forward to your site continuing to be my first stop every day.

  216. Comment by Pinkbike | 08.7.2009 | 10:26 pm

    Elden, when my Dad died, my good friend (who had lost both her parents while in college) pointed out that it’s actually a good thing when you grieve so hard for someone – it means that you were blessed by a strong and wonderful relationship. Not everyone’s that lucky.

    And Susan was lucky to have you.

    Still sending you prayers and love.

    – Sue and Tom in South Pasadena

  217. Comment by Vyx | 08.7.2009 | 10:27 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss, Eldon. And for your kids losing their mom. You wrote such a good obit here, it made me cry and I’m somewhat of a newcomer to your blog.

    God speed, Susan. Some people are just so good that they can’t stay with us on earth… God needs them with Him.

  218. Comment by Shelley | 08.7.2009 | 10:29 pm

    Peace to you and your children, Elden. God Bless You.

  219. Comment by Dan | 08.7.2009 | 10:36 pm

    Fatty – we have never met nor do I expect to. I have had cancer take loved ones from me but the amount of strength and support you have is nothing short of inspiring. You have brought all of us readers into your life and I feel so close to you and your family. When I first read of Susan’s passing, I was choked up and I instantly sent the message to my wife who in-turn, was choked up. I am praying to keep you all strong and we all know Susan is in heaven looking down at all the people she has inspired. I feel a new sense of pride wearing my Fat Cyclist WIN jersey.


  220. Comment by Sherri | 08.7.2009 | 10:42 pm

    You and Susan and your four children are a true inspiration on a day (and in an age, come to think of it) when it matters more than you will ever know. You’ve changed the world already for the better, and I’m sure you’ll continue to do so.

  221. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 08.7.2009 | 10:43 pm

    Susan will always be special your tribute is special the road artist is special, Twin6 are special and combined with Team Fatty and the Core Group “Fighting Like Susan will become Legendary. Can’t be in Alpine on Monday but know that here in Oz over in the Shaky Isles and everywhere else around the world Team Fatty will be with you in spirit. RIP Susan …..Livestrong.
    P.S. way to go Team Fatty in Phillie setting a great target for Team Fatty in Austin.

  222. Pingback by A death in the bike family « Bike Intelligencer | 08.7.2009 | 10:53 pm

    [...] this, yet another testament to the growing power of social networking. Update: Elden’s full obituary on Susan. ▶ Comment /* 0) { jQuery(‘#comments’).show(”, change_location()); [...]

  223. Comment by Jamieson | 08.7.2009 | 11:29 pm

    Elden – I can only imagine the emotion that you go through to write the obituary. Thank you for sharing with us all, for bringing us into your house, be it for a brat-laced triathlon, or the daily trials of taking care of Susan.

  224. Comment by PictureGirl | 08.7.2009 | 11:37 pm

    I am so very sorry. I cannot even grasp what you must be going through.

    I first learned about you and your wonderful family through Ree’s blog. When I saw the picture of your family, honest, I thought to myself, his beautiful wife has smiling eyes.

    This post was a wonderful tribute to her.

    You and your family are in my prayers. God bless you.

  225. Comment by Costalcyclist | 08.7.2009 | 11:41 pm

    Dear Elden,
    It’s crazy to say under these circumstances but you and Susan are blessed; the Love that your words carry for Susan and your Family, WOW. Thank you.

    !! Celebrate Susan !!

  226. Comment by Claudia@DipityRoad | 08.7.2009 | 11:42 pm

    I have often stopped by and read your wonderful inspiring blog. What a beautiful tribute to you family and to susan. Your love was always so evident.

    I live in Lehi– just down the road abit from you I guess; amazing how small this world is.

    May the lord be with you and your family as you transition on this next road that will have bumps in it for sure, but because of susan — you will find the bright side soon.


  227. Comment by adam | 08.8.2009 | 12:25 am

    Fatty, The post man brought me a nice Fat Cyclist t-shirt in the mail today (not to brag). I wore it proudly out tonight, hoping that at least one person sees it and comes here and is inspired like I and everyone I’ve turned on to you over the past few months to take action, or at least realize how resilient one can be.

    Susan’s story has changed my life: makes me realize how important it is that we care for those around us first, and put other concerns second. Her legacy will live on forever: not everyone can say they changed people like she did and will continue to.

  228. Comment by Shelley Noble | 08.8.2009 | 12:46 am

    An eloquent tribute to Susan. A noble life, well led. Many blessings always to you and her children.

  229. Comment by Laughing Orca Ranch | 08.8.2009 | 12:50 am

    Oh….it’s so wonderful to know more about Susan and her life, the way the two of you met and, of course, your special and talented children you shared together.
    I was taken aback to realize that Susan and I are the same age and are only week apart in our birthdates, too. I was born Sept. 4th 1966.
    My husband and I both had a short courtship like you and Susan, as well.

    My heart goes out to you and your children. I have twin sons who are 12 and a daughter who is 6 and I cannot even imagine how heartbroken they would be if I was called up to heaven. Children always need their Mothers. Now you have the daunting task of not only being Dad, but also feeling that empty hole that Susan left behind in their hearts. Remember that little girls need lots of affection and tender moments. And don’t leave out your young men, either. They may act strong and tough trying to make you proud, but their hearts can be shattered.
    It will be a difficult job, but you are very strong. You can do it. My prayers and thoughts are with you, my friend.

    New Mexico, USA

  230. Comment by Cycotic11 | 08.8.2009 | 1:01 am

    Sounds like Susan was a wonderful person. Remember this, you have been a wonderful husband and continue to be a wonderful father.

    I wish you the best as you embark on this new journey.

  231. Comment by Alison Shearer | 08.8.2009 | 1:09 am

    I left a comment yesterday and as a new reader of your blog I made a bad blunder and expressed my sorrow only to you and your boys. I realised almost immediately that I did not mention your girls as well and feel bad, My heart goes out to all of you.

  232. Comment by Anonymous | 08.8.2009 | 3:08 am

    I really have to say… I’ve searched for words to convey my wishes for your family and my sorrow at the loss of Susan but nothing can compare with the pure simplicity of Twin Six’s tribute.

    It’s absolutely perfect in every way.

    God bless you all.

    …and thank you (and Susan) for sharing the ride you’ve been through. Ever since seeing Susan come back from the MRI still smiling for the camera she (and you) have been my constant inspiration.

    She didn’t lose, we did. We lost a truly remarkable woman who’s strength in the face of such adversity (even if it was through your voice) will remain in all our hearts. We’ve all been blessed to know her as much as we have.

    Thank you!!!

  233. Comment by Evie | 08.8.2009 | 3:13 am

    Wonderful, beautiful tribute to Susan! She was definitly LOVED, we can all feel that! And love the message left for you on the road! That had to fill your heart up! Your kiddos sound like they’ll be a wonderful legacy of her, with all the parts of her that were so special. May God Bless you all and hope you can all be at peace in all you go through in these hard next few weeks!

  234. Comment by Andrea | 08.8.2009 | 5:45 am

    What a beautiful tribute to Susan. It is not difficult to see the deep love that you have for her. You, Susan, and your family are remarkable people and I feel honored to know your story.
    Peace and Love to all of you.

  235. Comment by Orbea Girl | 08.8.2009 | 5:49 am

    A very beautiful and wholly appropriate tribute to Susan – a truly inspirational lady who achieved so much in a relatively short time. Her legacy will live on in your wonderful children.

  236. Comment by jend'isère | 08.8.2009 | 5:54 am

    Here you go again, giving of yoursef for other. Keep on winning, for all of us, wordwide!

  237. Comment by Sandy B | 08.8.2009 | 6:07 am

    My first time visiting (found you @ Pioneer Woman). Fabulous tribute to a beautiful woman. I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet her sooner, but she leaves a living legacy in those talented children. God bless you all. Allez, Fatty and family! Hugs…

  238. Comment by Adam Martin | 08.8.2009 | 6:40 am

    In my greatest dreams and aspirations, I am 1% as generous, courageous, and eloquent as you and Susan.

  239. Comment by Jayne | 08.8.2009 | 6:40 am

    Much love to your family. RIP Susan.

  240. Comment by Ted Heise | 08.8.2009 | 6:42 am

    Thanks for the lovely tribute, Elden. She sounds like a wonderful person. Be gentle with yourself.

  241. Comment by heidi | 08.8.2009 | 6:43 am

    Hi Fatty,
    I am in tears after reading this post… as a long-time reader, I want to say: Rest In Peace, Susan… and congrats to you both for the astounding fight. The legacy you are leaving behind, will continue to grow.
    I need to go hug my twin girls now, (who I just screamed at for fighting over a shirt.)

  242. Comment by Kristy | 08.8.2009 | 7:02 am

    Thank you for sharing, once again, Susan’s life and yours with us. What an amazing legacy Susan has left both in your children and in her courageous fight. Wish we could be there in person Monday, but know we are praying for you all. Allez Fatty!

  243. Comment by Brooklyn | 08.8.2009 | 7:15 am

    A Beautiful Life

  244. Comment by wing-nut | 08.8.2009 | 7:16 am

    Elden, Thank you for sharing so much of the lives and relationships of your family. You have taught us how to enjoy life, face tragedy, and focus on the nearly imponderable richness of a great relationship. There are 2 of your columns that I occasionally refer to as a reminder to cherish and nurture my closest relationships. taught me to look ahead with honesty and clarity, and to never regret missing out on memories. reminds me how sweet it is to understand why my wife says some of the things she says.

    Elden even in the middle of your grief, in many ways you and Susan have won far more than most will ever experience. My life and marriage is better for having read your words.

  245. Comment by Sandie | 08.8.2009 | 7:48 am

    I’m so very sorry. I know of the pain you are feeling. I lost my soul mate, my husband of 34 years, to leukemia (AML) 3 years ago. Where you had years of fighting Susan’s cancer we had 2 weeks from dx, and the last week he was in a coma. You will have many dark days ahead but keeping Susan in your heart will help. She will always be around you and your children. She may physically be gone but know that she has not left you. She will be waiting for you when your time comes and you will be together again. God bless you, your children and loved ones.

  246. Comment by Dan | 08.8.2009 | 8:04 am

    What a beautiful tribute. I’ll be thinking of you and your family and riding on behalf of Susan in my race tomorrow. My mantra today:
    Unity is strength…elden there are so many people out here who you have touched.
    Knowledge is power…i don’t know what this means now, but feel confident in saying that as time passes we will learn more about cancer.
    Attitude is everything…so incredibly true.

    All the best.

  247. Comment by Christina | 08.8.2009 | 8:49 am

    Thank you for sharing. You are a great man indeed. Live Strong!

  248. Comment by Screwed Up Texan | 08.8.2009 | 9:00 am

    Prayers to your family from the Van Wagoner family.

  249. Comment by BamaJim | 08.8.2009 | 9:28 am

    Completely beautiful.

    Praying for comfort and peace for you and your family.

    3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

    2 Corinthians 1:3-4

  250. Comment by Claire | 08.8.2009 | 9:47 am

    Truly eloquent. Thank-you for sharing and allowing us to live your lives with you, most generous!

  251. Comment by Susan K. | 08.8.2009 | 9:54 am

    Thanks for sharing. Thinking of you and your family.

  252. Comment by Linda | 08.8.2009 | 9:55 am

    Your words have left a deep impression on my heart and soul. Please know that Susan and you family have made such a difference in our lives…and made a spot in the world a better place.

  253. Comment by David | 08.8.2009 | 10:01 am

    Prayers, thoughts all with your and your family.

  254. Comment by Julie | 08.8.2009 | 10:05 am

    I’ve been on the periphery reading about Susan’s fight from time to time (from PW’s site). I truly admire you both.
    My words are inadequate, but God’s grace is immeasurable. Will keep you and your children in my prayers.

  255. Comment by Beast Mom | 08.8.2009 | 10:27 am

    hey FC,
    Your love and respect for Susan is again so evident. Your tribute really honors her.

    Hugs to you and the family. So very sorry.


  256. Comment by Johnny González | 08.8.2009 | 10:29 am

    Fatty, I’ve been a follower of your blog since 2007, my father died from metastatic cancer almost 3 years ago; so when you described what was happening with Susan, my memories came back. Your and Susan’s battle against cancer spread all around the world that’s a great example for those leaving with this illness.

  257. Comment by Joyce Vitalo | 08.8.2009 | 10:31 am

    I am inspired by Susan’s fight and the grace in which she fought. My prayers are with you and your family.
    Your blog was something more powerful than you could have ever dreamt.

  258. Comment by Andy R. | 08.8.2009 | 11:01 am

    Beautiful, Fatty. Allez, indeed.

  259. Comment by Brigitte Petersen | 08.8.2009 | 11:19 am

    Some emotions leave me wordless…all I can say is, so very sorry for your loss, and so very glad Susan had you in her life. Peace.

  260. Comment by Kelly | 08.8.2009 | 11:20 am

    Beautiful words for a beautiful woman.

  261. Comment by Emily | 08.8.2009 | 11:23 am

    she was an exceptional woman. wish I could have met her.
    condolences to you and yours. she was a fighter, and so are you and your kids.

  262. Comment by Pat | 08.8.2009 | 11:32 am

    Eldson: What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful woman. Thanks for sharing your journey, the joys and the pain. Will be thinking of you and your family in the days to come.
    The fight continues and lives on.!

  263. Comment by Life with Kaishon | 08.8.2009 | 11:34 am

    I was praying.
    Such a beautiful life she lived.
    I will keep praying for your family.
    Many blessings.

  264. Comment by minermike | 08.8.2009 | 11:57 am


    Wonderful tribute! Last night my 9 yr. old and I camped in AF canyon just below the final hairpin turn to the summit. This morning, as we were leaving, we rode to the summit parking lot for a quick view of Timpanougos where I saw the road messages to you and Susan….this was the final touch to the most beautiful morning of the year. I will forever think of Susan as I ride that canyon.

    Thanks for sharing

  265. Comment by ms ellie | 08.8.2009 | 12:16 pm

    my prayers to you and your beautiful children.
    RIP Susan.

  266. Comment by Donna | 08.8.2009 | 12:19 pm

    Let me simply say I am praying for you and your children.

  267. Comment by Chris | 08.8.2009 | 12:54 pm

    So sorry about your loss. Keep strong with your children and the gospel, she will be watching over you. Most of all keep riding it helps in many ways.

  268. Comment by Chris | 08.8.2009 | 1:07 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Be strong for her, for your children, and most importantly for yourself. Never quit and know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  269. Comment by Clericeric | 08.8.2009 | 1:32 pm

    Hey Fatty,
    Did a ride today in Susan’s honor. Praying for your family lots this weekend.

    One thought, would the picture from the top of the Alpine Loop (‘WIN’ w/the drop) be a good banner picture?

  270. Comment by Michelle O. | 08.8.2009 | 1:41 pm

    I’ll be keeping you, the kids, and your family in my thoughts and prayers, as you grieve for Susan. Bless You all.

  271. Pingback by Chuck Ibis :: Chuck Spew :: » Grab a Tissue | 08.8.2009 | 1:54 pm

    [...] Nelson (Fat Cyclist) just wrote his wife Susan’s obituary. For those of you who don’t know, she passed away [...]

  272. Comment by BEEF | 08.8.2009 | 2:03 pm

    Simply blown me away……..

    Where you get the strength from is amazing…..

  273. Comment by Kathryn H. | 08.8.2009 | 2:06 pm

    Please be proud of the care you showed Susan, the love you shared, the example you gave your children and all of us, and the man that you are.
    Your patience and strength show what marriage can be.

    Ride Leadville and WIN for Susan!
    God Bless

  274. Comment by Pat1236 | 08.8.2009 | 2:16 pm

    What a beautiful and heart warming story of Susan. She was loved so much and will be missed by you and your family. The one thing to remember is that she lives as long as her memory does and I believe that will be as long as you all live. Your postings have given me a new look at cancer and the care for the patient. We were lucky that my daughter did not suffer very long, she died 3 years ago from breast cancer and my grand daughter has had it too. Thank goodness she is in remission. Keep the faith not only for you but for your wonderful children.

  275. Comment by Lynn | 08.8.2009 | 2:27 pm

    May Susan’s strength, courage, and bravery live on through you and the children. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who will miss her dearly.

  276. Comment by Emily F | 08.8.2009 | 2:39 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve read some posts here and there but somehow didn’t realize we lived so close to one another (I’m in Draper). My prayers are with you and your sweet kids today.

  277. Comment by pauline | 08.8.2009 | 2:42 pm

    i feel the need to apologise…. I was fairly new to your blog when Susan passed so did not know that you had twin girls. I have added then to my thoughts & prayers. Peace be with you all x

  278. Comment by LyndiLou | 08.8.2009 | 3:15 pm

    I’m here through your friend Jen (Tatertos and Jello)… and I share your grief and love even though I didn’t get to share knowing your wife in person. What a treasure you have! Thank you for being brave enough to tribute your wife and let us share in your strength and in her glow. Heavenly Father will take good care of her until you are together again. Sending love… as best as a stranger can.

  279. Comment by Susie | 08.8.2009 | 3:21 pm

    a fine tribute to a wonderfully courageous winner. her legacy lives on in each of you, and i am privileged to have ‘known’ Susan through your stories. we all are with you in this and will continue to offer you and yours our love and prayers.

  280. Comment by Shortbus | 08.8.2009 | 3:54 pm

    No words I can think of can express how sorry I am for your loss. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.


  281. Comment by Mavryk20 | 08.8.2009 | 4:04 pm


    Thanks for sharing more of your story. Susan was truly talented and brilliant. I’m still praying for your family. I wish I could be there to leave you some chalk messages as well . . .

  282. Comment by Carolyn Online | 08.8.2009 | 4:30 pm

    I am so happy that you had such a long and wonderful life with an amazing woman. I know she’s always with you. And I am so so sorry for your loss.

  283. Comment by bikemike | 08.8.2009 | 4:30 pm

    Everyone in my family is praying for you and your family Elden.

    God Bless, my brother.

  284. Comment by Big Boned | 08.8.2009 | 4:58 pm

    Thinking of you and I want to thank you for sharing Susan with us. I know the decision to do that (and migrate from this being a crazy cycling blog) had to be a difficult one. It has been amazing to watch the groundswell of support for you and Susan. Your family has touched so many.
    I’m sure I speak for many of the men in saying that you’ve helped me in being a better husband – and I thank you for that.
    Be well and ride fast in Leadville!
    One of your many unmet friends,
    Big Boned

  285. Comment by Heather | 08.8.2009 | 5:03 pm

    I am truly sorry for your loss. Susan was obviously a tremendous woman, wife, mother and survivor. My heart goes out to you as you say goodbye.

  286. Comment by Robyn Openshaw | 08.8.2009 | 5:04 pm

    What a beautiful lady you were married to, Elden. I am privileged that I knew her.

  287. Comment by Sandy | 08.8.2009 | 5:20 pm

    Elden, you have my most sincere condolences on the loss of your beautiful and talented wife whom I wish I had had the chance to know. I found my way over here through Mama-Face. I finished your loving tribute through tears for a family I don’t know but hurt for.


  288. Comment by domestique | 08.8.2009 | 5:27 pm

    that was an absolutely beautiful & stunning tribute to your wife. the world is a better place because of her & people like you. your love & devotion to each other is an inspiration. i send my best to you & your family. win.

  289. Comment by MOCougFan | 08.8.2009 | 5:38 pm

    Well said brother. Well said. BYU grad. I knew I liked that lady. I’m sure she’s patiently waiting for you.

  290. Comment by lara | 08.8.2009 | 5:46 pm

    wonderful tribute, elden. it must be an honor to know such a lady.

    fight like susan has been my mantra…helping me on my bike, helping me run…helping me persevere. thank you for sharing your sweet, tender story with us.

  291. Comment by paige | 08.8.2009 | 6:15 pm

    Your story has made me tear up, often.

    Your post about Susan’s life and fight has made me cry. And the Twin Six site made me bawl uncontrollably.

    Fight Like Susan!

  292. Comment by Frances Windisch | 08.8.2009 | 6:29 pm

    Elden,you have written so beautifully about Susan’s life. I hope you and your children will be surrounded by love in the days to come. I am so sorry for your loss.

  293. Comment by Shauna Park | 08.8.2009 | 7:08 pm

    Thanks Elden, for sharing Susan with us all. When you mentioned Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it brought back memories of conversations I had with Susan about this show. I will always cherish the influence Susan had on my scrap booking. She was an excellent writer and I hope you will let us know when you publish her book because I certainly want to read it. I am wondering if you have plans to write a book yourself, about her story and your cycling. I think it would do really well.

    My heart and thoughts are with you. Breast cancer has been touching our lives personally a lot lately, from an aunt who battled it, a sister in law battling it right now, and a dear sweet mother in law who fought bravely but lost the battle a little over a year ago. You are doing a great thing! May you and your children be comforted.

  294. Comment by Tod Schmidt | 08.8.2009 | 7:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing your family’s story. I’ve been following your story for years and it has really been inspiring to see how you and your family have dealt with this so far. You and she were very blessed to have had each other the family you have. God bless and hang tough.

  295. Comment by Bill Baker | 08.8.2009 | 7:57 pm

    Thank you.
    This week my Grandfather who taught me to ride had to get a baseball size tumor removed. He is strong to. And My family is not alone. I read your blog and i feel lifted and i thank you.
    keep on riding and many blessings to your family.

  296. Comment by Tracy | 08.8.2009 | 8:47 pm

    1988 must have been a magical year:) My deepest sympathy to you and your children. Today was the first day I read you blog, but was deeply moved by your tribute to your wife of many years. Your children will be honored in the years to come, looking back at the tribute you gave to their mother and your wife. Although I am half a country away (Philadelphia,PA) I send you and your children my prayers for strength to make it through the service and the days to follow. Your wife sounds like a remarkable woman and you should be proud to have had the opportunity to spend your life together. God Speed!


  297. Comment by Deborah | 08.8.2009 | 9:35 pm

    I am with you and your family in thought.
    I have been inspired by Susan’s goodness and in this picture you posted I see this goodness and also warmth shining strongly from her eyes.
    I have also been inspired by you and your commitment to Susan. You can find peace in the knowledge that she was lucky to have had a husband like you. I believe that you gave her the best life possible right up to the end.

    Best wishes,

  298. Comment by Joan B. | 08.8.2009 | 10:25 pm

    Dear Mr. Nelson,
    I am very sorry for the loss you and your children have suffered. Your wife was a very courageous woman.
    I was disturbed to see that you have requested donations for college funds for your children in lieu of flowers. While reading your blog I note you mention that you earn ‘tons of money’ and in fact allow yourself $30,000 every month for cycles and supplies. Why the need to shamelessly ask for money with such a large income and an extravagant amount spent on cycles? You embarrass your wife and yourself, sir.

    Joan, I can see you’re referring to this post. That post is a joke. I even thought it was obvious, though I guess it wasn’t. – FC

  299. Comment by Debbie in Memphis | 08.9.2009 | 1:01 am

    Elden – I’m so sorry for your loss. Your beautiful stories about Susan have touched my heart and shown how precious the love you shared is. Please know that the majority of your readers are sending love, hope and prayers to you and your family. I hate that anyone would have the nerve to leave a message for you like the one above. It’s a shame and shameful. I can only hope that Joan B will offer you a heartfelt apology.

  300. Comment by princess jen | 08.9.2009 | 1:02 am

    I was introduced to your site from Pioneer Woman quite a while ago (I think I started reading after she made your cheezy eggs!) and I just fell in love with Susan. I liked reading about your biking adventures (I’m married to a mountain biker…) but I loved reading about Susan. Your love for you showed forth in every word you wrote and I felt like I knew her. She had an indomitable spirit. I have so much admiration for her courage and strength and resolve. My daughter is almost 7 and I can’t even imagine her thoughts as she knew what was coming. My prayers are with you. You are an excellent dad and I know you will be able to raise your kids and let them know every day just how much their mother loved them.

  301. Comment by princess jen | 08.9.2009 | 1:05 am

    BTW, I just went and re-read the blog post that Joan B. referenced… did she really not get that you were kidding? It was incredibly obvious that you were joking.

  302. Comment by The Cosh | 08.9.2009 | 5:42 am

    My thoughts are with you and your family today.

    Thank you and thanks to Susan for sharing your lives with us the way you have and for the way you’ve been able – through the fundraising and the inspiration – to create something good out of something so evil.

  303. Comment by florentine | 08.9.2009 | 6:31 am

    bless susa, and bless you.
    thank you for all you are doing for all of us.
    my thoughts are with you.

  304. Comment by Linda (Weekend Cook) | 08.9.2009 | 7:12 am

    I first learned of your story from Jen. How inspired you are from your lovely wife’s story. The words…beautiful. My own friend was diagnosed at 35 with breast cancer and has undergone a double mastectomy. She is a super person…athletic, strong, good wife and mother. Why does this happen?
    Each year my company has a breast cancer awareness week in October. Many of us donate our crafts or gift baskets to raffle. (We have a company of 700 people and the money raised goes in the names of those we list, to the Susan B. Komen Foundation) I am donating my craft in my friend’s name this year, but I think I will donate 2 items this year and one will be in your wife’s memory. Although I did not know her…I am so touched by her story. Livestrong…..

  305. Pingback by Susan Nelson. 1966-2009 « LONE STAR LIFER | 08.9.2009 | 9:27 am

    [...] of you who have followed Fat Cyclist and his family as they cared for Fatty’s wife Susan, here is a detailed look inside her life. I wish I could have known her. She sounds like she would have been one of those friends who [...]

  306. Comment by Jamieson | 08.9.2009 | 9:51 am

    Just saw your tweet about Leadville and Livestrong _ Philadelphia! AWESOME!!!

    Can’t wait to be able to ride with you in Philly. I hope that Lance gives you a big hug* in Leadville.

    *in a manly sort of way.

  307. Comment by sherry | 08.9.2009 | 9:59 am

    You have a gift for expressing what truly is. Thanks for sharing your life and Susan’s with us.

  308. Comment by greg | 08.9.2009 | 10:03 am

    My condolences. Please know that you made her happy and her life better. I also know I speak for everyone here who wish you the best. As you continue your journey through life, Susan will always be in lockstep with you.

    God Bless.

  309. Comment by Brian Sherry | 08.9.2009 | 10:22 am


    You are a strong and loving man. Lucky that Susan will live on – not only in what you have gained from your time with her – but in that that which has left behind for you to love in your wonderful children. Know that many will have you in their thoughts and prayers in the difficult moments yet to come. My wife and I will ride with you all in our hearts in Philly. Ride on.

  310. Comment by SJ | 08.9.2009 | 10:52 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. My heart was touched the moment I read our blog. Your family is in my prayers. Thank you for your strength and courage.



  311. Comment by Caroline | 08.9.2009 | 11:08 am


    I only started following you after Lance tweeted about you…I am so touched by you and your family ANd SUSAN!! Thanks for sharing..
    Kind Blessings from Ketchum Idaho

    Go Leadville

  312. Comment by Conor | 08.9.2009 | 11:12 am

    Notwithstanding the terrible pain you must have now, it seems very clear from reading your tribute to Susan that you were, and are, a lucky man. That may seem like a strange thing to say right now, and in the circumstances I hope you don’t get offended by it.

    You’re lucky because you met the love of your life, and you’re lucky that you married her and you’re lucky for all the years in between and for the wonderful children you and Susan had.

    And you’re lucky that cycling found you, and you found it, and that you found all the love, friendship, support, joy and contentment that being a cyclist brings.

    But most of all, you’re lucky because you know all of the above – you’ve managed to pass through life, unlike many, appreciating it, and all that it has brought you.

    Be well Elden.

    Is mise le meas

    (An old Irish sign-off, meaning rougly, ‘me, with respect’)


  313. Comment by Beth | 08.9.2009 | 11:18 am

    I have checked in here often since Wednesday and kept you in prayer for strength in these days. Reading Susan’s beautiful obituary brought new tears to my eyes. I will be thinking of all of you Monday. God bless.

  314. Comment by Cassie | 08.9.2009 | 11:25 am

    I am amazed and touched by how much you’ve shared with us, and thank you for that. I’ve kept Susan and your family in my prayers since I’ve began reading your blog, and I will continue to do so. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I believe your amazing spirit and the many behind you will always keep Susan’s memory alive.

  315. Comment by Little1 | 08.9.2009 | 11:27 am

    Fatty and family, thank you for sharing Susan with us and for allowing us to get to know an amazing woman. I only Hope I will one day be half the wife and mother that she was. Today I rode the Tour De Bluff, a local 100km race and got my best time for a 110km so far. When I realised I was on target for a PB i got down low and just kept repeating fight like Susan fight like Susan!

  316. Comment by Kathleen | 08.9.2009 | 11:32 am

    Beautiful… Clearly, you *both* chose well. I love that you were attracted by the way her eyes reflected her smile; they truly sparkle in the photo.

  317. Comment by Sean | 08.9.2009 | 12:52 pm

    The signs on the road are very cool. I have seen numerous blogs sending tribue to the beloved Susan. She will always be in our hearts. Keep fighting!

  318. Comment by elisabeth | 08.9.2009 | 12:59 pm

    Beautiful tribute to your wife. I am in tears. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts. Thank you again for sharing your life with the world.

  319. Comment by Jade | 08.9.2009 | 1:22 pm

    Elden, you are very correct that Susan didn’t lose, she left a powerful legacy. Thank you for your part in making that happen, too. Our thoughts are with you and the kids, make sure to take care of yourself, too.

  320. Comment by Marilyn | 08.9.2009 | 1:33 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to your wife. I don’t know you and your family, but you can be assured that I am praying for you during such a difficult time.

  321. Comment by Julie | 08.9.2009 | 1:52 pm

    You are an inspiration to keep our focus on what is important in life. Your strength during this trial has been amazing – thank you for sharing with us. Our prayers to you and your family from Idaho. Fight like Susan!

  322. Comment by Mary | 08.9.2009 | 1:52 pm

    What a lovely tribute to your wife. I’m so sorry for your loss. We have lost loved ones to cancer as well. We will be donating to the American Cancer Society for research in your wife’s name.. we all hope for a cure soon.

  323. Comment by Paul | 08.9.2009 | 2:21 pm

    I’ve just returned home after 8 days sleeping on the floor of my mum’s hospital room as she gradually passed away. It’s not the same as Susan, not even close, but it gives me some clue as to how you must be feeling. I’m deeply sorry for your loss.

  324. Comment by Robynn's Ravings | 08.9.2009 | 2:40 pm

    As a mom to two kids I know our greatest focus and purpose in life is them, as a God-given desire. I am so sorry you all lost Susan and that she endured so much. But her days were obviously spent investing in what she loved the most. What a beautiful tribute you wrote, and what a beautiful life. My sincere condolences.

  325. Comment by Karen | 08.9.2009 | 3:41 pm

    Please accept my sadness and sympathy to your family. The courage and you and Susan have been willing to share makes a difference. Your integrity and openness are an extraordinary model. I’m so, so sorry for your loss.

  326. Comment by kath | 08.9.2009 | 3:52 pm

    Elden, I just came across your blog in the last month — thinking my husband would like it because of the biking — but found myself drawn to it again and again because of Susan. I had breast cancer when my children were just out of toddler-hood (3 & 5 yrs), and so far, (knock wood & spit) it hasn’t come back. I’m lucky and my husband and girls are lucky and we know it. I love what you said about finding your own purpose within the circumstances you’ve been given because it is such a brave and remarkable way of thinking in the midst of such turmoil and deep grief. I want to thank you and Susan for sharing your story, and in doing so helping so many. And I want to thank you for writing so beautifully about it.

  327. Comment by allison | 08.9.2009 | 4:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing this journey with us, Susan inspires me to live full and leave a fully legacy of beauty and strength.

    You won, Susan…cancer doesn’t know about the can o’ whoop ass we’re planning to unleash.

    My condolences from California.

    I wish comfort for your hearts,

  328. Comment by Kimberlee | 08.9.2009 | 4:33 pm

    Bright Blessings to you, and peace to Susan. The true champion is not made by one race but by the journey of the life. Yours and hers are beautiful journeys and I thank you for sharing your lives with others.

  329. Comment by Mary | 08.9.2009 | 4:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story – an inspriration. Thinking of you and your family.

  330. Comment by Darci | 08.9.2009 | 4:42 pm

    I found your blog quite by accident this afternoon and have spent the last hour pouring over it. I lost my grandmother to breast cancer some years ago. Your story and Susan’s touched me deeply today. Thank you for sharing, my heart aches for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your precious children.

  331. Comment by JET | 08.9.2009 | 5:23 pm

    She sounds like a beautiful woman Fatty. May she rest in peace. From what you have described to us how your kids are turning out, her legacy is securely set. My family’s thoughts go out to your during this very difficult time.

  332. Comment by Rick in Chicago | 08.9.2009 | 5:33 pm

    My sincerest condolences to you and your family. I wish I could give more than I did.

  333. Comment by Jouni | 08.9.2009 | 5:50 pm

    Elden, thank you. Thank you for your strength through this battle, and being able to share it with all of us.

    My wife and I haven’t decided HOW we’ll manifest our way of joining the war, but we’re going to join. Up here in Ontario (and a couple of other locations in Canada), there’s a charity ride called Conquer Cancer. Maybe that’s our start…but it’s you and Susan and your kids and my dad and my friend (well, you get the picture) that have made us want to enlist.


    And, strength and peace to you. Strong arms are around you.

  334. Comment by Nicole | 08.9.2009 | 5:54 pm

    Fatty, in the years reading your blog, most faithfully in the last few months, I often wondered what it felt like to have literally thousands of people around the world praying for you and your family, and also laughing, crying, and riding along with you. I hope right now, it feels like you’ve got a whole bunch of bear hugs wrapped around you and your kids.

    I’ve never cried at the loss of anyone outside my own family before…especially someone I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting. Your words this week have brought me a mix of gut-wrenching sad tears, and strangely, a few happy ones as well, because I was able to know about Susan and learn from you both. Thank you for that. Thinking of you all.

  335. Comment by Rizal | 08.9.2009 | 6:37 pm

    Hi Fatty! I’ve been following your blog for about 2.5 yrs now since I picked up cycling in Sydney, Australia. I’ve not been cycling much since I’ve returned to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    I wanted to say that you’ve been a source of inspiration to me. Not only in cycling, writing, fundraising… most importantly – inspiring me to be a better husband and a better father.

    I’m speechless to provide any comfort to you, my friend. My prayers for your family in this time of grief.


  336. Comment by Marty | 08.9.2009 | 6:46 pm

    Next to your RSS feed I saw this quote of the day:

    Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. – Buddha

    While cancer robbed everyone of some of Susan’s life, through you she has made an incredible impact on all of us. Thankyou Susan, and thankyou Fatty. I feel that I am a better person for pseudo-knowing you.

  337. Comment by Amy | 08.9.2009 | 8:24 pm

    Susan will remain a hero…a warrior….in my eyes. Her courage, and that of you and your entire family, fills my heart with hope and sadness and joy and bewilderment. We never know how we’ll touch the world…Susan has touched it in an ethereal way. She is an angel now as she was in life. Remain strong.

  338. Comment by Jarrod & Alison | 08.9.2009 | 8:46 pm

    We heard of Susan passing this last week and we wept. That night we all prayed as a family for yours and wished so much that we could be there to offer support. Ciera and Alex both cried as we told them the news and we could see the love they have for their friends. They miss them so much! Ciera spent hours telling me about the trip to Alpine this summer! She wants me to let Katie and Carrie know that she misses them. We love your family and it was a pleasure to be neighbors. Although we have moved you are in our hearts and prayers.
    To those on this blog that didn’t get the opportunity to know Susan, she was every bit as wonderful of a person as you will ever meet. Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with yours!

  339. Comment by Elaine | 08.9.2009 | 9:26 pm

    A beautiful tribute and a wonderful love story. I’m glad that you had 21 years with such a wonderful soul mate, and heartbroken you won’t have another 40 years together. It serves as a reminder to make every day count, to be fully present for those who matter to us, to take nothing for granted.
    I’ll be riding on a tour this month – I’ll proudly don my Fat Cyclist jersey and ride for the both of you.

  340. Comment by Diane | 08.9.2009 | 10:56 pm

    Elden, you are a blessed man to have Susan forever. At the funeral tomorrow know that thousands of people are with you in spirit & send their love & strength to you and your family.
    The offer re Leadville still stands if you need it.
    Susan knew how to WIN & so do you. Livestrong. Diane

  341. Comment by George | 08.9.2009 | 11:12 pm

    “And I will rise when He calls my name
    No more sorrow, no more pain”

    Praying that God will comfort you and you family.


  342. Comment by Sasha | 08.10.2009 | 12:56 am

    Another awesome blog. Thank you for sharing so much when you’re going through so much. You are continuing your wonderful wife’s legacy. Without you, we wouldn’t know about this amazing woman. Thank you!

  343. Comment by Mark Kynaston | 08.10.2009 | 1:53 am

    What a wonderful tribute. My best wishes to you all.

  344. Comment by Saso | 08.10.2009 | 1:59 am

    Thanks for sharing. I am living too far away to visit the funeral but my thoughts will be with you. Keep on the good spirits even in the tough moments, which might come.

  345. Comment by laineyme | 08.10.2009 | 3:35 am

    Thinking of you all today, hope it is ok and you get to focus on all the amazing things Susan did during her life.
    I think riding Leadville is a hugely fitting tribute and from the stories you have told, exactly what she would have wanted you to do.

  346. Comment by Big Boned | 08.10.2009 | 4:28 am

    I’m off to work. I’ll be thinking of you, and a prayer will go out for strength and peace for you and the kids today at 12:00 Eastern. I can’t BE there, but I’ll be there. We all will be in some way.
    Big Boned

  347. Comment by from another alpine region | 08.10.2009 | 5:30 am

    Allez: Elden, Katie, Carrie, Nigel, and Brice!
    Be strong and grow whole again.

  348. Comment by Megan | 08.10.2009 | 6:34 am

    Thank you for sharing the journey with us. Susan had amazing strength. Your family is in my prayers.

  349. Comment by Bush Babe | 08.10.2009 | 6:41 am

    We are all behind you in spirit (if not in person)… hope that thought helps you get through the day tomorrow.

  350. Comment by Leslie | 08.10.2009 | 7:36 am

    Thinking of you today.

  351. Comment by BikecopVT | 08.10.2009 | 7:47 am

    I’m wearing my Fat Cyclist t-shirt under my uniform today. Wishing I could be with the many, many people supporting you today in Utah. I’ll be there in spirit like the thousands of others that have come to be your friends without ever meeting you in person. I’ll be thinking of you and your family.

    Fight Like Susan!

  352. Comment by Jill | 08.10.2009 | 7:55 am

    May today be a celebration of Susan’s life. May you all feel the warm embrace of her love. Keeping you in thought and prayer.

  353. Comment by Lisa from IA | 08.10.2009 | 8:18 am

    So very sorry for your loss.

  354. Comment by Emy | 08.10.2009 | 8:45 am


    Even though I can’t be there in person, I am thinking of you and your family today and praying you will find peace as you gather together to celebrate Susan’s life. Be strong, Fatty. We’re here for you.

  355. Comment by ivet | 08.10.2009 | 8:46 am

    Dear fatty,

    thank you for sharing your story with us. I wish you and your 4 beautiful children all the best.


  356. Comment by Manfred | 08.10.2009 | 8:48 am


    I know we never met, but I read about Susan on Twitter. Today I saw this blog. I want to wish you strength for these days! We will be thinking of you all!

  357. Comment by bdaiss | 08.10.2009 | 8:51 am

    Dear Elden and family,

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. I will be thinking of all of you during this time of your loss.

    Know that Susan will be rallying the troupes in heaven for craft projects all while keeping a steady eye on the precious family she had to leave behind for now.

  358. Comment by Jo | 08.10.2009 | 8:55 am

    Elden and family, please accept my condolences for the loss of a brilliant shining star in Susan, and my prayers and wishes for healing and comfort for your family in this time of sorrow. While my mother and sister are cancer survivors, two of my closest friends were taken by it–both after long and exhausting struggles, and I can imagine where you are right now from my own experiences. The bone-wrenching tiredness, the not knowing whether to laugh or cry, the metal taste in mouth and stomach, the blankness of “what do we do now?”–they’re part of the journey all of us who survive take, and I want you to know that we are all taking it with you, that we are sending you energy and embraces, and that it has been a privilege to know Susan through what you have shared of you. God be with you all and may you find strength and comfort in your shared memories and especially in your love for each other. Bless you all. You’re in our thoughts and prayers in these hard days. Shantih.

  359. Comment by Ingriddeke | 08.10.2009 | 8:58 am

    RIP Susan. Elden and family, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Susan will always be with you in your heart and memories.

    Fight like SUSAN!!!!!!

  360. Comment by Betty | 08.10.2009 | 9:04 am


    My deepest and most heartfelt condolences on Susan’s passing. I had not visited your site until recently. Thank you for so eloquently and lovingly sharing your family’s story.

    I am an 8-year breast cancer survivor and cyclist and have been involved in the LAF over the years as a volunteer, advocate and taking part in the annual rides.

    This year on the 8th anniversary of my surgery for breast cancer, my dearest cousin (and really big sister) told me her oncologist recommended hospice for her Stage IV stomach cancer. She passed away in May at age 57, six months from diagnosis to passing.

    I still feel the loss, yet also feel her love and presence in my life. It is my hope that Susan’s love and presence in the lives of your family will soon outweigh the sorrow of her passing. Please know that she is now at peace and in comfort and will live always in your hearts. She left such a great legacy.

    Peace, strength, love, light and tailwinds always,

  361. Comment by Daddystyle | 08.10.2009 | 9:05 am

    LoveStrong, Nelson’s.

  362. Comment by adrienne | 08.10.2009 | 9:06 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today as you celebrate Susan’s life. We’ve been following your story via LIVESTRONG on Twitter. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful stories and insights into your life. It was truly inspirational. What a wonderful life the two of you made together with four beautiful children. Thinking of you all. We’ll keep fighting like Susan!

  363. Comment by Jennifer | 08.10.2009 | 9:13 am

    Thinking of all of you today. I, along with so many others around the world, will be there with you in spirit if not in person. Thank you for sharing yourself, Susan and your family with us over the years.
    Peace and love,

  364. Comment by Jaime O. | 08.10.2009 | 9:14 am

    Thinking of you and the rest of the family today as you remember Susan and take another step on this journey. Thousands of us will be there in spirit.

  365. Comment by Heather E | 08.10.2009 | 9:18 am

    She did win, families are forever and she has you and the kids forever—cancer or nuthin’ can take that away. Win! Keep on chugging, keep your chin up! Win!

  366. Comment by Dan | 08.10.2009 | 9:29 am

    Brilliant eulogy & tremendous legacy – looking forward to riding in “Win for Susan Day” in Philly. You, Susan & the kids have been in and will continue to be in my thoughts & prayers.

  367. Comment by Robert | 08.10.2009 | 9:53 am

    Keep your head up Fatty. You’ve helped her fight a great fight, and we commend you for that.


  368. Comment by T-odd | 08.10.2009 | 9:56 am

    What a beautiful tribute. Hope you and your family are hanging in there. Keep up the good fight.

  369. Comment by ann | 08.10.2009 | 9:58 am

    Heart wrenching. You have thousands hoping and praying for you as you continue your journey. May you find comfort in the memories.

  370. Comment by Linda | 08.10.2009 | 9:58 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Susan was an amazing woman and she will live on through these stories and the inspiration she and you have provided. Your post on her has moved me to tears. Bless you and your family and continue to LiveSTRONG.

  371. Comment by Cliff | 08.10.2009 | 10:10 am


    Thanks for sharing that wonderful eulogy of your amazing wife. Even though I am unable to be there (God knows I want to), know that I am sending my love and prayers. You’ve inspired all of us to do better, and to keep fighting whatever battles we have. Thanks for your wonderful stories. My group ride tonight will be done in honor of Susan.


  372. Comment by Pat1236 | 08.10.2009 | 10:24 am

    Thinking of you today and praying for you and your families strength to get through the day.

  373. Comment by Jenn | 08.10.2009 | 10:35 am

    Thinking of you & the children this morning; big hugs and know that there are a lot of us out here pulling for you.

  374. Comment by Angie G | 08.10.2009 | 10:53 am

    Fatty what a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. Like MattC and GregC have said, we haven’t met you physically, but feel we’ve known you and your family for years.
    Thank you so much for sharing your fears, challenges, accomplishments, and joys with us. As a Team Fatty member I was so proud to represent Susan and her courageous battle in San Jose and will continue to do so in again in Austin.
    Have a great time at Leadville!!!!

  375. Comment by abbie | 08.10.2009 | 11:01 am

    Thank you for sharing your story, and Susan’s, with all of us. Thinking of you and your family.

  376. Comment by Erin | 08.10.2009 | 11:01 am

    I haven’t commented since I heard the news. I’m so sorry for your loss. I just wanted you to know that my family is thinking of you and your babies today.

    Your story–that Susan so courageously allowed you to share and the beautiful way that you shared it–has changed my life for the better. I will always be grateful.

  377. Comment by CeeCee | 08.10.2009 | 11:12 am

    I’m thinking of you and your kids today.
    It will be one of the longest days of your life. While you will be amazed at how many people love and will miss Susan, you will be exhausted dealing with their feelings about it. Some will say stupid things, but rest assured they mean well.
    You will be worried about your kids and they about you.
    I wish you all peace and comfort for today. For moments alone. For understanding and thoughtful friends. For people to be aware of when to go and when to stay. For forgiving yourself for any feeling you might have that brings guilt. Anything you feel is perfectly normal. For moments to close your eyes and breathe deeply. For remembering.

  378. Comment by Amanda | 08.10.2009 | 11:17 am

    I found you through PW and began reading a few weeks ago. I am so sorry for your loss–Susan was a wonderful person and I can see that you and your children’s lives were brightened by her presence. We are ALL thinking of you.


  379. Comment by Eric P | 08.10.2009 | 11:21 am

    I wore my FC jersey on Saturday for a 200k Brevet outside Washington, DC, with thoughts of you, Susan and your family very much in my mind. As I rode up and down the bunch, a number of folks commented on the jersey and Susan’s passing. It was a theme of the ride for me. That a random biker in SLC has created such a community is a testament to the strength and beauty of the life you and Susan made together, and how powerfully you shared it with the rest of us. Thank you for making us part of your life and I hope you draw some strength from all of us in the coming days.

  380. Comment by CovingtonKat | 08.10.2009 | 11:30 am

    To Fatty and family – Lots of cyber-hugs & love coming your way today and especially right now. I’m just one of many who don’t know you, but feel very close right now.


  381. Comment by Greg | 08.10.2009 | 11:35 am

    Recently a friend told me about your site, so I started reading and checking new posts daily. I’m so sorry for the loss that you and your family have had to endure. While I’ve lost friends and family members to cancer and watched some battle back from its depths, your posts have once again brought it back to the forefront of my mind and my daily activities. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, your kids, your family and your friends. May Susan’s battle with cancer be a guiding light to how we should all live our lifes! God Bless!

  382. Comment by Mr. Big | 08.10.2009 | 11:42 am

    Words fail. I’m crying now, but mostly I remain in awe of a titanic spirit and the power it manifested through the generosity of so many. God’s blessings have been visited upon all those who came to know her personally and through your site, Fatty.

  383. Comment by bikemike | 08.10.2009 | 11:47 am

    You continue to be an inspiration.

  384. Comment by Julie | 08.10.2009 | 12:04 pm

    Thinking of you and your family on this long day. Wishing you strength and peace. Hold fast… hold fast
    Julie and Craig Minneapolis, MN

  385. Comment by ghd3 | 08.10.2009 | 12:18 pm

    Elden: I’ve been out of town and disconnected for a few days, and just learned of Susan’s passing. I’m so sorry. God speed to her remarkable spirit and I pray that a sense of peace of assurance will be with you and your family. Susan has inspired so many, and many need her example of strength and grace and determination. Continue telling the story, and let’s all continue the fight — WIN.

  386. Comment by Wild Dingo | 08.10.2009 | 1:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing a part of Susan with us. She, you and your children will inspire me every single day of my life.

  387. Comment by Laura Turgeon | 08.10.2009 | 1:15 pm

    Elden and family-
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I am sure it is going to be a very hard road for you all to travel but you have so many people praying for you, as I will do. I take comfort in thinking that when the people we love pass, they become our own angels to watch over us. My brother passed 5 years ago at the age of 42. And I am sure that Susan will continue to watch over you all, with all the love and pride that this wonderful mother and wife can give.
    My heartfelt prayers go out to you all.

  388. Pingback by TD Peloton… chasing a cure » Blog Archive » Fight Like Susan | 08.10.2009 | 1:23 pm

    [...] most of you probably know, Susan Nelson, the wife of the Fat Cyclist and inspiration for the largest team in LiveSTRONG Challenge history, [...]

  389. Comment by Kitty | 08.10.2009 | 2:12 pm


    You and your children are in my thoughts and prayers today. You left a beautiful tribute for Susan. What an amazing inspiration.


  390. Comment by Robin M in AR | 08.10.2009 | 2:15 pm

    Add another random stranger on your list of prayer warriors. My heart is heavy as I read of your loss. But I am also inspired by your strength and the magnitude of love you have for Susan.

  391. Comment by Hilslug | 08.10.2009 | 2:32 pm

    Thinking of you and your family on this hard day. May you have peace.

  392. Comment by sl | 08.10.2009 | 2:48 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss of this amazing person who shared your life with you. And you in turn have shared it with us. I cannot express how sad it is to hear that she has passed. I believe we are all touched by your blog as most of us have friends and family enduring the onslaught of cancer. Your touching words show all of us what is truly important in life. Your hope, courage, strength and mostly your deep love for Susan during this times brings all of that to focus. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Thank you for sharing…

  393. Comment by Mary Danielsen | 08.10.2009 | 3:05 pm

    My prayers are with you and will remain with you for a long time. I am so sad to hear of Susan’s passing. I feel like I have lost a dear friend, one that I met along a journey. One who was kind and giving, even though I only met her briefly through her family. One who inspired me.

    As I become more involved in the cancer community and its fundraising efforts, I have to thank you for sharing story with us. It puts a very human face on the tragedy that cancer causes and gives us all a renewed sense of urgency to do more. As well, we got to meet your beautiful loving family.

    May God be with you.


  394. Comment by Ady | 08.10.2009 | 3:22 pm

    A beautiful tribute to a remarkable woman.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your children.

  395. Comment by Andrea | 08.10.2009 | 3:26 pm

    Thinking of you and your family on this day. I’m sure that Susan’s service was beautiful.

  396. Comment by Maile in Florida | 08.10.2009 | 3:29 pm

    Thinking of you and your family today, with best aloha.

  397. Comment by PattyEv | 08.10.2009 | 3:53 pm

    What a lovely tribute to your wife and partner. I am so sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you and your family.

    Yours was the first blog I ever read, maybe the first time I ever knew anything about blogs. Every blog I started reading after that came from references in yours, then references in theirs and so on and so on. Now I read far too many, but yours is always at the top of my list.

    I’m not even a biker, at least in the sense that you are. I didn’t know you could buy bikes in different parts for heavens sake. Now I aspire to bike and am saving my pennies for a good road bike, after some of those pennies are used to put my 18 year old through college.

    Thank you for these new worlds you have opened up for me: blogs, biking and grace and beauty while fighting cancer from your beautiful Susan.

  398. Comment by Pink | 08.10.2009 | 4:14 pm

    What a sweet husband with what a sweet wife. We had a health care thing around here not long ago and I was amazed at how my husband and family rallied. The good news for us is that it was not a big deal —- something we can just handle.

    I thought of you all during that time. There is nothing better than family love.

    I worried for you all and prayed for you during this long day for you.

    Go ride, Fatty.

  399. Comment by Rebecca Goldberg | 08.10.2009 | 4:15 pm

    Monday . . .
    I am here– with you all– in thought and spirit today. To your kids:Iam holdingyour dear mother in my heart. So, Allez Fatty, Allez–FIGHT LIKE SUSAN. . .
    and a meaningful and tearful goodbye to Susan with y’all

  400. Comment by MOCougFan | 08.10.2009 | 4:17 pm

    I hope the funeral went well today Elden. Wish I could have been there.

  401. Comment by Rosemary | 08.10.2009 | 4:30 pm

    Just wanted to reach out and say that I’ve been thinking of you and your family on and off all day. I hope that you heard wonderful stories about Susan today, and learned things about her that were surprises even to you. I hope your kids got glimpses into sides of their mother that were new to them, and that they recall warmly in the years ahead. Given what I understand (very basically) about your faith, I suspect there were moments today where you looked forward into a bright future. Maybe you can hold some of that as you work through these difficult weeks, months and years ahead.

    Fatty, we’re a team. We’re with you, pulling in whatever small ways we can as you get through these dark times.

  402. Comment by Lisa B in Seattle | 08.10.2009 | 4:32 pm

    I wore my Susan jersey on a ride ’round Lake Sammamish today, to at least five fist pumps. As Susan’s spirit lives on in you and your children, so does her will to fight live on in all us.

  403. Comment by Derek White | 08.10.2009 | 4:35 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, ystäväni. She will be missed. Thank you for sharing her story and I’m so sorry I missed the funeral.

  404. Comment by C. Seegers | 08.10.2009 | 4:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  405. Comment by Jake | 08.10.2009 | 4:49 pm

    I’m so very sorry. Best wishes to you, your family and loved ones.

  406. Comment by Tracy (Oklahoma) | 08.10.2009 | 4:57 pm

    Peace be with you and your family today and always. You are in my prayers.

  407. Comment by ann | 08.10.2009 | 5:16 pm

    As the sun sets on your day, I hope that you feel soundly and thoroughly embraced with love, memories and food. And I hope you know that when you wake up in the morning to face tomorrow, you know that all of those people – there and out her in the unknown, offer those same warm arms to support and feed you in the walk you face. Blessings all around, and a solid dose of prayer.

  408. Comment by annbb | 08.10.2009 | 5:19 pm

    You all are certainly in my thoughts. May love surround all of you always.

  409. Comment by sarah | 08.10.2009 | 5:26 pm

    thank you for sharing yet another part of your family and your relationship with susan.

    (i’ve been riding in sacramento recently and i can confidently report that sacramento loves fatty! last saturday’s ride for a reason featured a number of fat cyclist jerseys and t-shirts.)

    fls; af!

  410. Comment by Cindy Jack | 08.10.2009 | 6:06 pm

    Susan’s story is so touching. I have endured treatment for breast cancer during the last year. I was diagnosed in September of 2008 and realized how karmic it was that I had decided to walk in the 3 Day Breast Cancer walk that November. God Bless you for sharing her story and keeping her grace and goodness alive.

  411. Comment by Suzy | 08.10.2009 | 6:06 pm

    My heart goes out to you & your family. I am a nurse & have now scheduled a long overdue mammogram this week.

  412. Comment by Aaron | 08.10.2009 | 6:17 pm

    The beautiful time you had together has touched thousands worldwide. Sitting here in Australia I’ve been contributing in spirit (and donating) along the journey.

  413. Comment by Linda | 08.10.2009 | 6:31 pm

    Susan would be proud to recognize the legacy she has left with her husband and children. What a beautiful tribute…reading the word “kind” brought tears to my eyes. It is sad that the world lost another kind person….we do not seem to have a lot of those left. Good luck and may all of your happy memories help to erase some of the pain.

  414. Comment by Julie | 08.10.2009 | 6:51 pm

    Thought about you guys all day today. I just wanted to stop in here and say my goodbye to Susan, today. You and Susan have been part of my life for several years now, and to say I am sad is just an understatement.

    I hope you were able to celebrate Susan’s life today – through stories and memories re-told. She touched so many lives, and continues to do so.

    Peace, love and strength to you, the kids and the rest of the family. We are always here if you need to ramble, rant, rage or remember.

  415. Comment by Prashant | 08.10.2009 | 6:57 pm

    Oh Elden, I am so, so sorry for your loss. Susan sounds like a wonderful person. You are a great, kind, and gentle man, and, as such, I’m sure you’re surrounded by wonderful people to help you through this unimaginably difficult time. May God be with Susan, and your family.

  416. Comment by XCTiger | 08.10.2009 | 6:59 pm


    You and your family continue in my thoughts and prayers. You have a long journey ahead of you. Take care of your kids needs, but remember to take care of yourself too. Delegate what you can to others who can do things as well as you, but remember that no one can take care of your family better than you.

    Remember that although Susan may not be physically by your side, she she will reach out to you in ways you cannot imagine. You’ll know she’s there, passing strength and Love when you need it most.

    Praying for Peace, Love, Strength……

  417. Comment by Gina Emory | 08.10.2009 | 7:05 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all, today more than ever, as you say your goodbyes to Susan. Her story, through your blog, has been, and will continue to be, an inspiration to many. I can’t wait to read the blog post wherein you let us know her book has been published! My God be with you all as you learn to live without Susan’s physical presence, though we know she will always be with you spiritually. God bless you, Elden.

  418. Comment by Powerful Pete | 08.10.2009 | 7:33 pm

    Condolences. To you and your loved ones.

    Powerful Pete and the entire family.

  419. Comment by Bill | 08.10.2009 | 7:41 pm


    I might be the last one to post here. I’m a rider like you and have been for years (more road, but some fixed trail). I’m sorry Susan’s gone and my heart goes out to you and your children. I’m one of the ones that worked to fight cancer – a PhD scientist first doing research on understanding how estrogen receptors were involved in breast cancer and identifying the most effective drug treatments. Later I’ve been helping design diagnostic tests and instruments to run them. My mother had breast cancer and some of the work I was involved with helped with her treatment. I don’t think anything I did could have helped Susan, but it still makes me wonder that if we all could have just worked just a little bit harder… I’m so sorry. Bill

  420. Comment by Jenni | 08.10.2009 | 7:50 pm

    Beautiful life, beautiful legacy. Thank you for sharing.

  421. Pingback by More On Susan Nelson « Speed Skate World- By Peter Doucet- Online Since 1999 | 08.10.2009 | 7:56 pm

    [...] Susan Nelson Yesterday was long. It started with a meeting at the funeral home, taking care of the business end of Susan’s funeral. Then I worked for a while on the program for the funeral itself. Then I took my boys to buy us suits. [...]

  422. Comment by Jodi J. | 08.10.2009 | 8:57 pm

    I came to your blog from PW and found myself reading it everyday. I am not a cyclist, although I enjoy riding. I enjoy your blog and found myself wondering how Susan was doing each day. I am sorry she is gone but do remember that this moment will be just a speck of time in the eternities. Live to see her again. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  423. Comment by Joel | 08.10.2009 | 9:03 pm

    I only just began reading your blog during the Tour de France thanks to a tweet from Lance Armstrong. Your story hit me hard. I’m 41. My first child was just born on August 4. A mere day before your loss. She’s just six days old now. I thought of all that I have with my wife and daughter and how much I love them. I would be empty without them. I wept when I read that you wife had passed on. God bless you, Elden, for being the strong man that you are. And thank you to Susan for fighting her fight. She, and you, inspire me to be the best father that I can.

  424. Comment by Erin | 08.10.2009 | 9:07 pm

    You, your children & your extended family are in my thoughts. Prayers for you all.

  425. Comment by John | 08.10.2009 | 10:39 pm


    I am so sorry to hear about Susan’s passing. I know that there are really no words that can provide comfort and solace to you and your children. You have my highest respect for letting all of us into your lives and telling us about Susan’s valiant fight against cancer. God bless you and your children. Chapeau Susan! Allez Fatty!

  426. Pingback by Don’t Say She Lost | 08.11.2009 | 12:01 am

    [...] Susan Nelson died last week. I’ve never met Susan, or her husband Elden (aka The Fat Cyclist), but because of him, and because of her, 100’s of people (myself included) have become involved in something. [...]

  427. Comment by Born 4Lycra | 08.11.2009 | 2:28 am

    Rest in Peace Susan Vale.

    FC saw your tweet and am very glad you are riding Leadville and going to Philly. I think it is right for you to do this and to be honest it is what Susan would want in fact it is what she expects.
    Love to the Kids take care of them all Core Group (I know you will).

  428. Comment by Fuzzy | 08.11.2009 | 2:57 am


    Thanks for posting this. You have given us all a much better insight into the wonderful woman that is Susan Nelson.

    Luv ‘n Stuff
    Fuzzy from the UK

  429. Comment by Jeff Prosise | 08.11.2009 | 5:43 am

    Elden, I’m saddened to hear about Susan. This is every husband’s nightmare. May you and your family be continue to be strong.

  430. Comment by James | 08.11.2009 | 7:09 am

    Elden, I have been without internet access for a few days, so I just read the news about Susan’s passing. I want to offer my deepest condolences. I also want to tell you again that you and Susan are truly an inspiration. Both of you are in my thoughts and prayers at this time. Keep up the fight in Susan’s name

  431. Comment by cindy | 08.11.2009 | 7:56 am

    god bless and keep your family

  432. Comment by Lisa | 08.11.2009 | 9:37 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, your children and all those who have been touched by Susan and her story. Thank you for sharing this private moment with all of us. By doing so you have inspired me and countless others who may not comment often or ever to take action in this fight against cancer.

  433. Comment by Veli Steven Stewart | 08.11.2009 | 12:31 pm

    E…this is Steven Stewart writing to you from Finland.(I’m your cousin Gary Jenkins’ buddy & from your mission)

    Just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for such an inspiring blog and such a wonderful tribute to your wife. The love you have for her and your children sang in every paragraph.

    Thank you for sharing in a way that is filled with hope, courage, and love that really uplifted me.

    Best wishes…you and your kids are always welcome to stay with us if you need to (we are about 30 min from Helsinki and there are bike trails galore all over the country!)

  434. Comment by SMeno | 08.11.2009 | 2:37 pm

    My deepest sympathies and condolences to you and your family. Her story is so courageous and inspiring. Please finish Susan’s novel. On a slightly different note, the fact that Susan could speak Latin at one point is amazing. I took 3 years of Latin in high school, and other languages in college. Nothing compares to the difficulty of Latin (except maybe Mandarin). It is such an accomplishment to be able to speak it.

  435. Comment by Michelle | 08.11.2009 | 3:36 pm

    I so wish I got to meet Susan. She sounds like she was such an awesome lady. No doubt she’ll live on through you and your children.

  436. Comment by Undomestic | 08.11.2009 | 3:42 pm

    You are still winners in our hearts

  437. Pingback by When did we become this way? « rebuilding babylon | 08.11.2009 | 8:34 pm

    [...] Someone’s house burns down, we’ll hold bake sales and lemonade stands raising money for them to build a new house. A friend’s wife’s dying of cancer, we’ll tell everyone we know and rope them into our fundraising efforts, raising half a million dollars. [...]

  438. Comment by Michael Williams | 08.11.2009 | 11:55 pm

    My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I read your posts with the tears streaming down my face, weeping for your lost love and the insatiable ache that must fill your heart. I pray that you might find some comfort in knowing that you have been able to touch so many others in their hearts and minds, not to mention the countless lives that might be saved by others paying attention to the lumps and bumps we all fear so much.

    My best friend, my sweetheart, the love of my life just had her double mastectomy on Friday. I have never been so afraid in all my life, wishing I could just trade places with her. I’ve been the bad one, the one who deserves to carry such an awful burden but Fate/God has seen fit to challenge us in this terrible way. I know that we are going to fight, she is going to fight harder for life than anything she has every fought for before. Karen is a tough bitch and she is going kick cancers ass.

    Your story terrifies me, I wish your outcome had been so much happier but alas it was not to be, but know that we will not forget, you will inspire us to never give up. God bless you and your family. We love you all and will carry you in our hearts forever.

  439. Comment by MonsTher | 08.12.2009 | 6:46 am

    Good luck with your future and your tasks. Will follow your blog:-D

  440. Comment by Annie Anderson | 08.12.2009 | 3:49 pm

    Hi Fatty,

    I’ve not been a reader of your blog for very long and I’ve never commented before but like so many others have already expressed, I am sorry for your loss, for your childrens’ loss.

    As someone whose family has been touched by cancer (more than once, I’m afraid), I can certainly empathize with your pain and anguish. I wish there were magic words I could share with you but there are none.

    The only thing I can offer is that time does heal. Maybe not completely, but enough to give you hope, to go on another day.

    I wish you and the children all the best from this day forward.

    And please – do write that book. I’ll help in any way I can. Just ask.


  441. Comment by MOSSY | 08.12.2009 | 4:04 pm

    So sorry to hear your sad news.
    Having read your site we identify so much with you and your family.

    Be strong.

    All our love and prayers are with you and your family .

  442. Comment by Lisa | 08.14.2009 | 1:05 pm

    Don’t know if you’ve seen this, or if you’re ready to see this, but it was beautiful and I can imagine that, for Susan, you were this strong man for her. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  443. Comment by marti | 08.17.2009 | 7:04 am

    i’ve been reading your blog for a year or so, but have never commented, even though susan’s and your family’s struggle and how you’ve written about it have really touched and inspired me. i just came to check out how you did in leadville and backtracking, read your posts about susan’s death. i am so very sorry for your loss, and i am keeping you and your family in my heart, and celebrating your amazing wife. thank you for your sense of humor, your grace, your tireless (and SO creative) efforts to raise awareness and money for cancer research… my sister lisa had breast cancer this year – thanks for fighting for her too.

  444. Comment by Jeanette | 08.18.2009 | 3:35 pm

    What a wonderful gift you gave your children showing and telling them what wonderful traits they got from their mother. I was 32 when I lost my mother and I felt so young. I feel so sorry for you and your children, but it seems that you’ll get through this okay. I’ll be riding for Susan (I’m doing a Team In Training event on Sept. 26).

    Hope you find some peace.

  445. Comment by Mocha | 08.18.2009 | 10:31 pm

    Elden, I can’t force any coherent thoughts or try to come up with flowery language to express the deep sympathy I have for you right now. Simply, I am quite sorry for your loss. I’m just really really sorry.

    Please find peace.


  446. Comment by Titanium | 08.22.2009 | 11:13 am

    I’ve quietly followed your blog, and the intense struggle your family has faced- and am overcome by the strength of purpose, the courage and the fortitude written into every post. Bless you and your family, Eldon. My heart is breaking for you and the kids; Susan lives on in all of you and her legacy is inspiring millions.

  447. Comment by KW | 08.25.2009 | 6:35 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Brooklyn, New York.

  448. Pingback by Rest in Peace, Susan | MEN blog . net | 08.28.2009 | 6:27 am

    [...] that I haven’t read since early last week. As I scrolled down, I was saddened to learn that Susan Nelson died last week after a long battle with breast cancer. For those of you who don’t know, Susan was the wife [...]

  449. Comment by Tym Allison | 08.28.2009 | 10:36 pm

    What a beautiful and loving tribute. Very sorry for your loss. Best wishes for you, your family and friends in the difficult time.

  450. Pingback by New Beginnings « Off the Gravel Road | 11.3.2009 | 10:06 am

    [...] a pack and we’ll quit again tomorrow.”   Not this time.   This time, I have finally found the inspiration that I know will keep me strong… and I’m going to beat this thing once and for all.   I found [...]

  451. Comment by Jeff | 03.6.2010 | 8:28 pm

    I lost my wife in a car accident when my son was 6 and three days. Been a single parent ever since. He’s 18 now. Been in love twice since, dated one scared the other. If you ever want to chat about nothing contact me if you like!

  452. Pingback by Seattle to Portland « Pedals & Pencils | 07.23.2010 | 3:09 pm

    [...] punching.  People who don’t know Fatty’s story asked about my jersey and I told them the story of Susan and my own story of riding for my [...]

  453. Pingback by Don’t say she lost: battling cancer | Ramblings of a Singleton | 09.22.2010 | 1:38 am

    [...] read more about Susan herself and her battle, click here and [...]

  454. Pingback by Pistols and Popcorn » Late Thanks | 01.25.2011 | 8:54 am

    [...] brother and his late wife, Susan have twins.  I remember going to their home one time when Susan had just gotten their infant girls [...]


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.