Dustin Brady and I are good friends. We’ve got a lot in common. In fact, a little too much in common.
There’s the good stuff: We both love bikes — I write about them all the time, and he works for Shimano.
There’s the all-too-common stuff: we both are engaged in a pretty much permanent battle to lose weight and keep it off.
And there’s the awful stuff: I lost my wife to breast cancer. Not much later, Dustin lost his fiance, Michelle, to breast cancer.
And now he and I work together, whenever we can, to fight cancer. Most often, this has been by his arranging for incredible bike-related prizes for LiveStrong Challenge contests, in honor of Susan’s memory.
This time, though, I’d like you to get behind me and put the full force of Team Fatty into helping Dustin honor Michelle.
And, by the way, by doing so you’ll possibly win one of a number of prizes that are just head-spinningly incredible.
Right now, Dustin is in Hawaii. This Saturday, he’s going to be doing the Kona Ironman — his first Ironman attempt — in tribute to Michelle. Here’s why, in his own words:
My fiancé Michelle was sweet and sassy.
I knew she had weeks to live about a month before she did (Doctor told me to let her ask and go at her own pace). Well, during that month I kept asking myself, what am I going to do with myself?
Well, I had taken Michelle to Kona in 2008 & 2009. In 2009 about 11pm at night as we watched the inspirational finishers she turned to me and said, “You should do this someday” … I replied … “Yeah I would like to try, I’ll put it on the bucket list.”
I remember right where I was when I made the decision I was going to try and get into Kona (This is where we grew our appreciation and respect for the sport) and do the race in her memory. I was driving home to take a shower before going back to the hospital … it was right where the 73 merges into the 405 heading south through Mission Viejo. I was never going to tell her … I was simply going to do it and get healthy again like Michelle wanted.
So jump forward two weeks … Michelle finally asked the doctor the tough questions. She went through the initial emotional BS but then instantly started worrying about her loved ones. What was Tiffany going to do, she wanted to give her our scooter. What about her Mom?
And then in typical Michelle fashion as I was stepping out of the room to get something to eat … she point-blank asks me, “What are you going to do when I’m gone … you need life skills!!”
I replied, “Life Skills?!?” with a smile on my face (always try to show your loved one things are going to be ok).
Then I continued … I’ll tell you what I’m going to do … I’m going to do an Ironman for you … and for me.”
She looks at me, and starts to tear up. This is the last thing I wanted! I went to her to hug her and tell her I love her.
But as I approached the bed and leaned in for a hug, she stuck her hand out to stop me, then rotated her hand to shake my hand, and says “YOU PROMSE!?!?”
I shook it right then and there! The rest is history. Now I’m trying to live each day like she did … with a smile on my face and trying my best to seize each and every day to the fullest.
So when I do Kona, I will be doing three things.
- I want to raise $20K for the Young Survivors Coalition in her name
- I will carry her ashes with me in a small sealed container the entire distance
- I will wear a special kit promoting something she started. At the end of the landing page it sums up why … I want people battling cancer to know they are not alone. My website is www.fcancerup.com (a little aggressive but it’s what most people think!)
Fight Cancer, Help a Friend Keep a Promise, Win a Dream Bike
Of course, Dustin’s on his own as far as finishing the Kona IronMan goes, though I cannot imagine more amazingly powerful motivation than he has. (And I will post his number and info on following his progress on the race as soon as it’s available.)
But I think we can help Dustin with that first objective.
And since Dustin’s made some out-of-this-world prizes available, I believe we might just be able to eclipse that goal by a good little margin.
I’ve signed Team Fatty up as a member of Weiser’s Army in a cause that Michelle deeply believed in: The Young Survival Coalition, which offers resources, connections and outreach to young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
And here are the things we’re going to give away.
The Grand Prize: Your Choice of a 2012 Giant TCR Advanced SL With Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
This is a pro-level road bike — in fact, the bike and components Team Rabobank rides:
You get to pick the frame, either with the integrated seat mast, in black or white, or with an adjustable seat post. For myself, I think it’d be pretty darned hard to beat having the integrated seatmast in white:
That is going to be the foundation of a seriously clean-looking, amazingly advanced bike, especially once you put on a full Dura-Ace Di2 group on it. You know the one — incredibly fast, accurate, electronic shifting.
On a personal note, I’ve been loving Di2 on my own bike for more than two years. During which time I’ve had to get it fixed or taken in for maintenance exactly zero times. And I charge the battery about once every two or three months.
It’s seriously more reliable than manual shifting. Not to mention faster. And you can do shifts you could not normally do (like a quick shift on the front derailleur during a very steep climb).
You also get your choice of a Dura-Ace clincher wheelset, either 24mm, 35mm, or 50mm profile.
And hey, how about some carbon Dura-Ace pedals:
And you’ll cap it all off with a PRO Vibe Carbon Bar and Stem.
How much would this bike cost if you were to go out and buy it yourself? Oh, I dunno — how about around $10,000.00.
If you are not already a serious road cyclist, this bike is going to turn you into one. You just won’t be able to help yourself.
More Awesome Prizes
Of course, only one person can win this dream road bike. But there are going to be some pretty excellent other prizes given away too:
- A Dura-Ace clincher wheelset, either 24mm, 35mm, or 50mm profile. Whichever you like. And since we looked at the 24mm wheels last time, let’s take a quick look at the 50mm wheels here:
- A GoPro HD Camera, with a bike mount, so you can get glorious high def video of your riding adventures.
- A set of Shimano Dura-Ace Carbon Pedals
- An HTC jersey, autographed (but you’ll have to wait and see by whom!)
- One of everything FCancerUp store.
That is a big ol’ serious batch of prizes. For a good cause, and for a good friend. So please, donate.
How It Works
Entering the contest is really easy. For every $5.00 you donate at my Tour de Pink fundraising page, you get a chance at winning each of these prizes. So, here’s how it works, in nice easy steps:
- Go to Team Fatty’s Tour de Pink fundraising page.
- Donate any amount, in $5.00 increments.
- For every $5.00 you donate, you get a row on my magical spreadsheet of prizes.
- I choose winning rows at random, using random.org to choose winners.
- You must donate by Wednesday, October 12, to win.
- I will contact winners by phone and / or email.
So your money will be well-spent, on an incredibly relevant cancer.
Speaking for both Dustin and myself, thank you very much for taking the time to make a donation.
PS: I need someone to be the official Team Fatty rider for the Tour de Pink. It’s a three-day ride, and it looks incredible, and I wish I could go. But I can’t. So I need someone to go and do the ride, being the official Team Fatty rider.
And what I’d really like would be if it’s someone who has lived with breast cancer, either as a survivor or as a caretaker.
If you’d like to be the person who rides for Team Fatty — and you’re willing to come back and tell the story, with words and photos, either leave a comment or send me an email with a little bit about your story.