A Tribute to Michelle Elizabeth Weiser

07.8.2010 | 9:50 am

A Note from Fatty: Dustin Brady works for Shimano. His fiancé, Michelle, had the same kind of cancer Susan had. It progressed about the same way, and they tried similar treatments. Dustin and I started talking as we each tried to find ways to accomplish something (anything) in the fight against cancer, and have become good friends. Thanks in large part to the incentives Dustin and Shimano have provided, Team Fatty has become a real fundraising force in the fight against cancer.

Dustin has asked me if I could publish this letter, and I’m more than happy to.

201007080945.jpg To the readers of Fat Cyclist:

My name is Dustin Brady (the secret Shimano Guy) and I’ve asked Elden to share this letter with you.

I would like to in as short as possible tell you of my beautiful fiancé who passed away Monday night and share of her amazing spirit, smile and sass that made those around her smile.

I met Michelle through a friend at Interbike in 2005. I wasn’t looking to meet anyone at the time … but I guess that is when you meet someone great … when you least expect it. Her genuine smile captivated me … it wasn’t flirty … it was just who she was. When I learned she lived fairly close to me … I asked if I could take her to dinner and that I would drive up to see her. She replied, “You’re not getting any but sure.” From that point, I knew I liked her … she wasn’t afraid to give anyone crap and she stood on her own.

She turned out to be someone I loved and connected with on so many levels. She was beautiful, she loved to travel, she liked to ride and she followed cycling. As a kid she competitively water skied. She appreciated nice things but was casual just like me … shorts, shirts, sandals … no problem. And I would not remember her properly if I didn’t say she was fiercely independent. She had great style and she cared about others often more than herself … she was sarcastic … and in time I knew she loved me back.

When we traveled, she didn’t care if it was a hostel or a nice hotel. Her smile and energy guided her everywhere and their wasn’t anyone she couldn’t connect with…this energy and outright positivity would carry her through her fight with cancer.

201007080946.jpg About 2 ½ years ago she first learned of her cancer. As a lot of you know … it is a roller coaster of a ride. Peaks and valleys … it was at this time I first chatted with Elden … our fight was strong, Susan’s and Elden’s fight was strong, and as I read all of your comments to his postings I learned that your fight was strong … and this is why we wanted to help fight with all of you this BS known as cancer.

As Susan fought, so did Michelle … her sass, her smile, and her energy helped me face her battle. Her desire to live each day to the fullest was always there but she kicked it up to 11 and we did just that … Lived each day to the fullest. I gave her everything I could … a trip to Greece, a ring and my commitment to her for the rest of my life.

As we lived and fought, the cancer did slow her down … and while we moved slower … we were still giving it our all.

In her last days she truly lived each day to the fullest … she was pinning it so hard, she was wearing her mother and me out. The last activity she did before going to bed on July 4th was to light and toss a firecracker for the 4th of July. When asked if she wanted to light that fire cracker, her eyes literally opened wide and she nodded clearly and concisely. The point of this story … she had a lust for life and lived each and every day of her life to the fullest.

I will continue to fight with you all and I thank you for all you have done to support Elden in his fight. Elden has the soap box, I can arrange the goods, but without all of you, we have nothing.



PS from Fatty: If you like to write cards of encouragement, it would mean the world to Michelle and Dustin if you send Michelle’s mother a card. It would be great if you can tell her in your own words that she raised a beautiful and spirited woman that lived and honored all of those who share in the fight.

Patricia Weiser
PO Box 419
Fulton, CA 95439


  1. Comment by Tonya | 07.8.2010 | 10:09 am

    Thank you for sharing Michelle’s story. Even more inspiration to kick cancer’s a**!

  2. Comment by Eunan | 07.8.2010 | 10:14 am

    Great courage to share on such public forum.
    Such a tragedy.

    My thoughts are with you are your families.


  3. Comment by OldManUtah | 07.8.2010 | 10:16 am

    Only one thing to say, “WIN Susan and Michelle!!” My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of loss. As Tonya said, “Let’s kick cancer’s ass.”

  4. Comment by Jase | 07.8.2010 | 10:20 am

    Thanks for sharing … my best to you at this time.

    And I absolutely agree … more motivation to fight this tooth and nail.

  5. Comment by Anthony | 07.8.2010 | 10:23 am

    Dustin – I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing Michelle’s story, she sounds like a beautiful person. You and your family will be in my thought and prayers.

  6. Comment by Cardiac Kid | 07.8.2010 | 10:35 am

    Very Sorry for your loss Dustin.

    Michelle is in my prayers.

  7. Comment by Curt | 07.8.2010 | 10:39 am

    Dustin, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your letter and for encouraging us all to fight that much harder to kick cancer in the a**!!!!

  8. Comment by Flyin' Ute | 07.8.2010 | 10:39 am


    Thanks for sharing the brief snapshot of Michelle with us. Thanks for fighting. You guys are a great examples to all of us who have our own battles that we fight each day. While it may not be cancer the burdens of life somehow find a way to weigh each one of us down.

    It is inspiring to see people who have “real” burdens fight so hard. It puts our own problems in perspective and gives us strength to battle on.

    Thanks for all you do.

  9. Comment by Caren | 07.8.2010 | 10:40 am

    Dustin…There are no words but there are tears trickling down my face. Cancer and how it impacts our lives makes me angry and as I survivor I’m fully pledged to win this war. I’m loss for the pain and suffering it caused you, Michelle, your family and friends…but I’m so grateful for all the wonderful times you were able to share and the incredible memories you’ll always have with you.

    We will continue to fight…and we will WIN! We must continue to BELIEVE and LiveStrong!

  10. Comment by Kovas Palubinskas | 07.8.2010 | 10:42 am

    Beautiful letter Dustin – condolences to you and everyone who Michelle’s lust for life touched.

  11. Comment by T Foster | 07.8.2010 | 10:46 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. It only strengthens my commitment to do my part to help defeat cancer.

  12. Comment by Roger | 07.8.2010 | 10:57 am


    Thank you for sharing your experience. You help many others just by telling it.

    Be Well!!

  13. Comment by NYCCarlos | 07.8.2010 | 10:58 am

    so sorry to hear about Michelle, Dustin. You two put up the strongest fight there is. All the more inspiration to never let cancer win. Thanks for sharing your story with us. You’re in my thoughts.


  14. Comment by Clydesteve | 07.8.2010 | 11:19 am

    Dustin – When I read about a Survivor like Michelle, who has finished her fight, I see the personification of WIN! My deepest condolences in your great loss. Thanks for your part of our fight.


  15. Comment by Nic Grillo | 07.8.2010 | 11:21 am

    Dustin – So Sorry for your loss. Michelle sounds like a wonderful lady with great spirit and someone who will be dearly missed. Thanks for sharing her story.

  16. Comment by mark | 07.8.2010 | 11:27 am

    Peace, Dustin. Sorry for your loss.

  17. Comment by Penina | 07.8.2010 | 11:37 am

    So sorry…just wanted you to know that Team Fatty Philly is now up one donation in memory of your beloved.

  18. Comment by Accident Prone | 07.8.2010 | 11:44 am

    Michelle sounds like a wonderful woman with a lot of spirit. Thank you for sharing her story with us. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  19. Comment by etucker | 07.8.2010 | 11:49 am

    Cancer Sucks! We will keep fighting for Michelle, Susan and everyone else who has been lost to this monster.

  20. Comment by thomas bagby | 07.8.2010 | 11:49 am

    Michelle sounded like an amazing woman. I am sorry for your loss Dustin. This is just another reason why we must continue the fight against cancer. We need to win this battle so more Susans and Michelle do not succumb to this battle. LIVESTRONG DUSTIN.

  21. Comment by Jenn | 07.8.2010 | 12:00 pm

    Dustin – thanks for sharing this with us. I can’t imagine experiencing a loss like this. It really does help me feel a little more human and a little bit more connected when these stories are told. Be well.

  22. Comment by bykjunkie | 07.8.2010 | 12:31 pm

    Sorry to hear of your loss.

    I hate cancer more then I hate the Talliban!

  23. Comment by Tina Z | 07.8.2010 | 12:32 pm


  24. Comment by brian | 07.8.2010 | 12:45 pm

    Very nice tribute.


  25. Comment by glenn | 07.8.2010 | 12:51 pm

    Dustin I am so sorry for your loss. Just through your words i could feel your love for Michele. I hope the memories you two shared will help you through the pain you are feeling now. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

  26. Comment by Jim | 07.8.2010 | 12:56 pm

    Keep on fighting people. We lose some battles, but study by study, medicine by medicine, dollar by dollar, we are winning the war. Ignore the scaremongers, and do not lose heart! Honor those who have fought the fight – like Susan, and Michelle, and millions of others – by hanging in there and continuing to fight. Despite high casualties, we are winning – do not give up, and never give in!


  27. Comment by jason | 07.8.2010 | 1:22 pm

    Dustin thank you for sharing. In reading FatCyclist now for over 4 years and sharing in Elden and Susan’s fight against cancer it has honestly helped me slow down and appreciate those around me even more because you never know when they may be taken away.

    You and Elden are the type of people who give me inspiration to stand a little taller and try to make a positive change.

    I can honestly say that Shimano’s involvement is the way all brands should connect with their consumers….by doing something right consumers form preferences and become brand advocates. Chapeau Shimano.


  28. Comment by Marc J | 07.8.2010 | 1:50 pm


    My deepest condolences to you and Michelle’s family.

    God bless you all and continue Living Strong.

  29. Comment by Jayne Adams | 07.8.2010 | 1:53 pm

    I am sitting at my desk at work trying to hold back the tears that are brimming in my eyes. My own personal story is losing my father to cancer when I was 21. I signed up for the LIVESTRONG ride/San Jose back in January and have been riding in preparation and trying to raise donations for this very important cause. Reading this heart wrenching, but inspirational story about a beautiful woman gives me more power and incentive to continue to contribute and participate in my personal quest to help BEAT Cancer!!!


  30. Comment by Jeremy | 07.8.2010 | 2:03 pm

    Thank you, Dustin. I am so sorry for your loss. You have already given so much to help this team and this fight.

    I hope we can carry the momentum of the day and keep Fighting Like Susan (and Michelle).

  31. Comment by Steve H | 07.8.2010 | 2:17 pm

    Oh man. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your and Michelle’s story.

  32. Comment by Cathy | 07.8.2010 | 2:36 pm

    What a wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing, Dustin. Hang in there . . . one day at a time. WIN!

  33. Comment by DougStrong | 07.8.2010 | 2:52 pm

    Dustin: Thanks for sharing your tribute and please accept our condolences. Shimano is my brand and thanks for all you do. You are not alone. Today we grieve-Tomorrow we will fight. ilivestrong, ulivestrong, welivestrong.

  34. Comment by jwbikes | 07.8.2010 | 3:17 pm


  35. Comment by Redbird74 | 07.8.2010 | 3:28 pm

    Thank you Dustin for honoring Michelle so beautifully, during her fight and now. We are all with you in this loss and share the resolve to continue to fight at your side.


  36. Comment by Riley&Casey Dana | 07.8.2010 | 3:30 pm

    Thanks for all of the wonderful times we had together……. Riley loved playing rock em’ sock em’ robots with you….oh & connect 4:) You were the best “auntie” to him. Riley & I, also enjoyed going to the circus with you & Dustin…what a treat that was:) We had so MANY fun times together! Riley enjoyed giving you your B-day gift, we laughed & you told me how much you loved me…..Thank You, you were a great friend and an awesome “auntie” to Riley. We love you Dustin!
    ALWAYS BIG HUGS, Casey & Riley

  37. Comment by Charlie | 07.8.2010 | 3:32 pm

    I’m happy you and she were able to share the time you had, and can only imagine the grief that it ended so soon. That firecracker’s a great metaphor by the way…

  38. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 07.8.2010 | 4:26 pm

    Dustin, thank you for sharing your memories and thoughts of Michelle with us. It is truly an honour to fight cancer for Michelle, Susan, Dustin, Fatty and others known only through Fatty’s blog

  39. Comment by AngieG | 07.8.2010 | 4:29 pm

    As they say a picture is worth a thousand words. The photos of Michelle show her independence and zest for life. You can see all that and her sass right there in her smile. She looks like someone that would always brighten a room.
    I’m truly sorry for your loss. Livestrong San Jose is this weekend and I will make sure to think of you both as I’m climbing Metcalf.
    Dumb Freaking Cancer!!!!
    Fight Like Susan and Michelle!

  40. Comment by T | 07.8.2010 | 4:29 pm

    you know, I’ve been hearing about your story second hand for years (my husband’s brother is a former roomie of yours… or at least I think that’s the connection) and had actually stayed away because sometimes my own emotional instability is such that I don’t really need a good cry.

    so today – on all days – I choose to pop on over because it’s all good in bloggy land right?

    anyway – long story short… this is a beautiful tribute… and I am less of a person for not having known two women who now I don’t have a chance to know. Thanks for sharing them with us all.

  41. Comment by Allison Plantation FL | 07.8.2010 | 5:38 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Dustin, and for all those that knew and loved Michelle. Your tribute was very touching and motivating. I too lost someone very close to me this year to cancer. We have to do all we can to stop this terrible disease! I just want to thank Elden for making fundraising so much fun (the contests, the bike give-aways, tha Hundred Miles to Nowhere…) and to Shimano and all the other bike companies that donate to the cause. Thank you. It means a lot that you care. Please know that when we shop we will return the favor.
    Dustin, may you find joy in the memories of the times you shared with Michelle.

  42. Comment by D | 07.8.2010 | 7:07 pm

    Thoughts and prayers to your family. May we all livestrong

  43. Comment by AK Chick | 07.8.2010 | 7:27 pm

    F-ing Cancer! Ugh.

    This post makes me so mad and sad at the same time I could just throw an epic temper tantrum about how much I hate cancer and the devastation and heartache it brings to so many families.

    A huge thank you to Dustin for “coming out” to Fatty’s readers. Thank you for all that you have done to help Elden in the fight against this disease.

    I am finally getting on track to start some serious fundraising for Austin in October and this just reinforces and fuels my desire to earn more than my goal.

    Thank you to Elden for sharing Dustin’s letter with us.

    Thank you to Shimano for their genorosity to the FatCyclist clan. I love the contests and I’d love to win some awesome booty, but I’d really love to kick Cancer in the teeth and find a cure for all cancers so families don’t have to go through the horrors of this stupid disease.

    A huge cyber hug to Dustin and Michelle’s mom. I can tell by her million watt smile that she was something extra special.

    Livestrong! Fight like Susan! Fight like Michelle!

  44. Comment by AK Chick | 07.8.2010 | 7:29 pm

    Oh and I just bought a pair of super duper cool Shimano mtb shoes (what I wear on my roadie – what can I say, I live in Alaska). Shimano rocks!

  45. Comment by Jim | 07.8.2010 | 7:46 pm

    Well written! I had the great fortune of working with Michelle for five years and I can honestly say that I was proud to have her as a friend. She will be missed on so many levels.

  46. Comment by Anni | 07.8.2010 | 8:56 pm

    Dustin – The Giant office just isn’t the same this week…the sass is gone. Michelle was always there with the smile and laugh that made my day. Prayers are with you and Michelle’s mom. I know Michelle is in a better place and not suffering anymore. We are celebrating her life each day with each picture and memory. Please take care of yourself, and stop by the office soon.

  47. Comment by Ken | 07.8.2010 | 8:58 pm

    Godspeed Michelle.

  48. Comment by Jenni | 07.8.2010 | 9:03 pm

    That’s so terrible, I’m so sorry. I hate cancer.

    Thank you for sharing her story. Much love.

  49. Comment by Lori | 07.8.2010 | 9:59 pm

    Take care Dustin.
    Thanks for what you did for my bro. You’re a really nice person. I’m so sorry you lost your Michelle.

  50. Comment by Jenn | 07.8.2010 | 10:34 pm

    Dustin, you make me wish I had known her. I’m so very sorry for your loss. You and your families will be in my thoughts. Bless you.

  51. Comment by buckythedonkey | 07.9.2010 | 12:51 am

    She sounds just lovely. Lots of love to you Dustin. MMA&C

  52. Comment by Richard | 07.9.2010 | 4:02 am

    Dear Dustin,

    Words cannot express the deep feeling of sorrow that I have for you, your family and friends’ loss.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

    We will beat this scourge we know as cancer.

  53. Comment by FatMass | 07.9.2010 | 4:23 am

    There is another angel in heaven. Godspeed to you Dustin. We will continue the fight with renewed vigor.

  54. Comment by Yukon19 | 07.9.2010 | 4:56 am

    My deepest condolences to Dustin, the Weiser family, and all of Michelle’s friends.

    Thank you Dustin for sharing a small part of her story with us to help remind us how much cancer sucks. Also, thank you for you contributions to Elden and your part in helping Kick Cancers Ass!

    Elden, thank you again for all you do both in keeping us laughing, and in the fight against cancer.


  55. Comment by Doug (WAY upstate NY) | 07.9.2010 | 5:43 am

    Dustin I wish there was something I could do for you beyond sending thoughts and prayers your way. I hope you find peace in your memories of the time you had with Michelle and in knowing that there is a larger family that is with you in spirit.

  56. Comment by Deb Mc | 07.9.2010 | 6:49 am

    Bless your broken heart, Dustin. Thousands of people will think of your Michelle and be strengthened in their determination to WIN.

  57. Comment by BZ | 07.9.2010 | 6:50 am

    Cancer sucks. There are entirely too many painful and poignant stories like this.

  58. Comment by Donna | 07.9.2010 | 10:19 am

    Plain and simple:

  59. Comment by Claire | 07.9.2010 | 10:23 am

    I am so sorry Dustin, she sounds like one hell of a woman. I would loved to have met her. Thank you for sharing her story with us. My heart goes out to you right now.

  60. Comment by Suzanne | 07.9.2010 | 11:00 am

    My deepest and heartfelt sympathy to fiancé Dustin and for Michelle’s Mother, Patricia Weiser, whose loss than brings prayers of comfort and understanding to you, especially now in your time of grief. One is permitted to grieve forever, so allow your self this blessing given us from above, a heavenly Father who knows our sorrow, and helps to ease our pain. Dustin’s remaining with Michelle in her battle with Cancer is enormous love, which Michelle surely recognized together with her Mother Patricia. Y’know, God holds us closer in times of sorrow; and while the heart cries out and aches for those we’ve lost, the comfort in each passing day allows time to cradle our broken hearts that they may heal the void in our lives, which is left in our loss of a loved one. It’s not meant to have us forget but is the opposite. For in the passing hours and days, as months turn into years, it’s our memory of those we have been blessed with in our lives that helps us to feel their love, even more so, in the absence of sight. Y’see, love doesn’t die–its forever. God is with you, as is your beloved Michelle’s love.

    Suzanne McMillen-Fallon, Published Author
    http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/Mommy’s Writings: Mommy, would you like a sandwich?

  61. Comment by Laurie Cohen | 07.9.2010 | 11:37 am

    Thanks for sharing. I was diagnosed with b.c. in ‘06, am (hopefully) fully recovered now and look forward to more fundraising for YSC and for my first TdP ride in October. I am sad for your loss, but inspired by your words.
    Laurie Cohen

  62. Comment by Chris | 07.9.2010 | 4:05 pm


    I’m very sorry and our deepest condolences go out to you and Michelle’s family. She sounds like a special gal. Cancer sucks.


  63. Comment by Andrew | 07.9.2010 | 4:56 pm

    My sister-in-law (wife’s sister) just had her breast cancer return—this time in the bones and several brain tumors. She’s 34.

    Cancer freakin’ sucks.

  64. Comment by evil 3 | 07.9.2010 | 11:18 pm

    First off, my thoughts are with you.

    Second, I have no clue what it would be like to have to go though that. Although I do know that because of reading the fat blog (recently read a bunch of them after only finding the site earlier this year) I have a better understanding of what all is involved to be truly strong.

    Dustin and Fatty (and that Lance guy, although I don’t know why) to me you guy’s are warriors who help motivate others to live their life to it’s fullest. As you fight to stay strong with your loved ones and every one else who has to fight the battle of cancer. You guy’s are true hero’s as you live strong for the people who also had the wish to defeat cancer, and you bring hope to those who need it. Truly with out the great lengths to guy’s take to claw your way though the darkness on the path to find light is down right amazing.

    -evil 3

  65. Comment by Anne | 07.10.2010 | 2:06 pm

    Beautiful letter. So sorry for your loss Dustin.

    I lost a truely inspirering person, Cal to esophageal cancer Tuesday last week after fighting the cancer for 1.5 years.

    I am proud to be a member of Team Fatty and raise funds for LiveSTRONG and fight cancer. Cancer sucks!!

  66. Comment by K.S. | 07.11.2010 | 7:46 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful girl.
    Thanks for sharing the tribute to her.

  67. Comment by linteater | 07.12.2010 | 8:47 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Dustin

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