Guest Post from The Hammer: Caregivers and WBR

04.28.2014 | 10:59 am

A Note from Fatty: My 6 Hours in Frog Hollow race report is taking a break for a couple days because we’re down to the last couple days of The Hammer’s Gooseberry Yurt WBR fundraiser, and she has a more important story to tell. (And if you’re ready to donate, by the way, click here.)

When I’m not riding my bike, running or making dinner for my very large family, I spend about 24 hours a week at work. My official work–or job–is an RN.

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I work in the acute pain service at two very large, busy hospitals in my area.

I think I have the greatest job in the world. I work with a great group of doctors, nurses and patients. I work directly with anesthesia. We perform regional blocks and epidurals for surgical patients. We also visit with these patients and adjust pain meds as needed.

On a typical work day, I hop in my car and drive either six miles or twenty miles–depending on which hospital I’m working at for the day.


I then care for approximately 20 patients during the course of my day. Once at work, the amount of walking I do is minimal. I usually take the elevator up…and the stairs down (yes, I am quite lazy). It’s safe to say that I don’t have to work very hard to access the 20 patients in my care.

I have friends that have chosen to take their nursing careers into the home health setting. An RN in the home health setting might see 1-5 patients per day, seeing each patient a couple of times a week. These nurses may travel 2-30 miles between patients. They provide basic nursing care: wound care, vital sign checks, etc. They get paid for gas and an hourly wage. They probably spend less time walking than I do. 

Meet Theresa

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, there are people like Theresa.


She is a “caregiver” in a village in Zambia. She lives in a village that covers  many square miles. She has no formal education. She has no car. But she does have a kind, giving heart.

She cares deeply about the people in her village. She sacrifices time away from her family and home chores to visit with people in need in her village. She provides the whole range of nursing care from wound care and bathing, to delivery of babies and assessing villagers who are sick and afflicted with a variety of diseases — like sickle cell anemia and AIDS, just to name a couple that I saw firsthand.

She provides counseling and a listening ear to people who are sad and struggling. She does chores around her patients huts-collecting water from the well, cleaning etc. The title Caregiver sums Theresa up beautifully. She cares, and she gives care.

And without help, people like her spend a lot of her time walking.

Theresa’s patients live many miles apart. The nearest clinic may be several miles away. She may see only a few patients a day, because the majority of Theresa’s day is spent en route: Walking miles, most likely on an empty stomach. She doesn’t have the luxury of opening a Honey Stinger Waffle or a GU to help her energy level as she walks.

We Can Help

By helping World Bicycle Relief provide caregivers like Theresa with bikes, they can double — if not triple — the amount of patients they can see in a day. They can then spend more time with their patients…as well as with their own families.

Since getting a WBR Buffalo Bike, Theresa’s productivity has increased exponentially. When Fatty and I were in Zambia, Theresa shared a story with us about how she was able to put a laboring lady on the back of her bike and get her to the clinic in time to deliever a healthy baby. Theresa then rode back out to the village to care for a sick patient with AIDS who ended up needing medication. Theresa was able to hop back on her bike and return to the clinic to pick up needed medicine. If not for the bike, she wouldn’t have been able to perform any of these activities.

Meet Lackson

Meet Lackson.

Lackson in his home kitchen

Lackson is a newlywed and a caregiver. He took us to see one of his patients and his family. The patient has sickle cell anemia: a very painful condition that goes through periods of remission and exacerbations.


This young boy — Louis, on the left in the above photo — can become critically ill quickly and may require hospitalization for multiple blood transfusions and pain meds. His family consists of his mom and brother. There is no father in the home. A lot of adult males in Zambia have passed away from HIV leaving their families destitute. Lackson has become this surrogate father for Louis.

Many patients that the caregivers will see have been affected by HIV in one way or another. The AIDS crisis has had a devastating effect on the people of Zambia. More than 16% of adult Zambians live with disease. More than 800,000 Zambian children are orphaned because of the disease. Antiviral medication is becoming more readily available, which can prolong the life expectancy of these people. The caregivers provide the mechanism for many of these people to receive their medications.

Last week we took our family to Village Inn — a pancake house. We easily spent more than $134 there. Next time, I’m going to propose we skip the restaurant, make our own pancakes at home — and send the money to help WBR and the wonderful caregivers in Zambia.

Your Chance to Help…And (Maybe) to Win

So far, my Weekend at Gooseberry fundraiser for WBR has earned enough to buy 64 bikes. That is awesome

But you know what? I’d love to raise enough for 100 bikes. 

And now we’re down to the last few days of April, after which I draw a winner. So if you haven’t made a donation (or if you have made a donation but have the money to make another), now’s the time. You can find the details for this contest by clicking here, but the short version is this: For every $5 you donate, you’ll get a chance at winning an incredible weekend at the Gooseberry Yurt. We’ll fly you out there, then either hike, ride, or just hang out and read. It’ll be incredible, relaxing, and incredibly relaxing.

But even if you don’t win, you’re going to help a caregiver — or a student — in Zambia do more good and travel farther than they otherwise ever could. And that’s an amazing thing to be able to say.

So thanks for your donation!


  1. Comment by PNP | 04.28.2014 | 11:55 am

    Donated a bike. I love WBR and donate whenever I can. It’s amazing how a relatively small amount of money can so completely change a person’s life so far away.

    I hope you meet your 100 bike goal!

  2. Comment by Christina | 04.28.2014 | 1:35 pm

    Donated a mechanic’s kit. I used 100 MoN last year to raise money for WBR…nowhere near what you’re raising! Good luck, Lisa. Here’s hoping we rally well for you.

  3. Comment by MattC | 04.28.2014 | 3:44 pm

    Way to go Lisa! Spring is never a very good time for me (extra money wise that is)…however I will give what I can for your event.

    On a side note, starting back in November (after the LS Austin event which has always the end of my ‘fiscal fundraising year’) I shifted my fundraising over from LIVESTRONG to WBR (now that LS has abandoned the Davis event). It just seemed like a shame to stop my ‘year-round’ fundraising that I’ve been doing, now going on 6 years. Between you and Fatty you’ve got me pretty jazzed on WBR and I’m proud to be helping them any way I can.

    I also hope you make your ‘100 bikes’ goal!

  4. Comment by George | 04.28.2014 | 3:49 pm

    One more bike headed your way!

  5. Comment by slo joe | 04.29.2014 | 5:30 am

    Another mech kit to keep eminshape

    Donated a bike earlier.

    Glad to help.

  6. Comment by Christina | 04.29.2014 | 7:53 am

    P.S. Am I the only one super intimidated by winning this prize? I mean, sure, winning one of those fancy bikes would have felt like a waste on a biker like me, but this seems like winning a training session with Chris Carmichael. I can eat like a champ, but I don’t want to fall off a rock in Utah.

  7. Comment by Mayhemnsuz | 04.29.2014 | 8:02 am

    Thanks for the reminder post! I hope the last days are very successfu and I’m glad I was able to help out a little bit.

  8. Comment by Heidi | 04.29.2014 | 9:39 am

    I still want to see The Hammer wearing her Ambassador sash. I’m in for a tool kit. I had dreams of donating another bike or two, but between the wily IRS, my computer going bosom-up, and the opportunity to meet lots of cute firemen and the power company guy because a huge branch of my large cottonwood tree took down a line and now the entire tree has to be removed for an ungodly price, well, yeah, you get the picture. And how’s that for a run-on sentence?

  9. Comment by The Hammer/Ambassador Lisa | 04.29.2014 | 9:39 am

    I’m seriously blown away by people’s continual generosity! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You are truely making a difference in someone’s life!!!

  10. Comment by zeeeter | 04.29.2014 | 9:42 am

    . . and that’s 100 done. How about 200? Still a couple of days left . . . it’s do-able!!

  11. Comment by The Hammer/Ambassador Lisa | 04.29.2014 | 9:46 am

    Yahoo! We just hit 100 bikes donated! That is sooo cool!! Let’s see how many more bikes we can donate by tomorrow night……10…15 …..20????? FATTY’S ARE THE BEST!

  12. Comment by Fatty | 04.29.2014 | 9:48 am

    I am so excited to see The Hammer hit her goal, and so appreciative of everyone’s generosity. From here I’m excited to see where we end up; it’s all gravy now!

    And also I’m excited to do the drawing!


  13. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 04.29.2014 | 9:51 am

    Elden, there are excited FoF’s out there waiting for the drawing too!

  14. Comment by New Zealand Ev | 04.29.2014 | 10:25 am

    As always thanks for the opportunity to be arable to help and be part of this fantastic team!! Being here in New Zealand I wouldn’t be able to partake of the prize, however I am still glad to be able to donate another bike!!

  15. Comment by Skye | 04.29.2014 | 11:46 am

    Thanks for the reminder to donate : )

  16. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 04.29.2014 | 12:03 pm

    @NZ EV I don’t know about that. I bet if you should win, there are enough of us out here who follow you, we might chip in enough to get you back here. We’re know for far sillier things. Granted, it might only be by shipping container, but we’d get you here. Pack a lunch…or two….

  17. Comment by NZ Ev | 04.29.2014 | 12:55 pm

    @DavidH I like the way you think. Thanks for the thought. We shall see what happens. I suggest that if my name is drawn then I would give the prize to you just for suggesting that.

  18. Comment by UpTheGrade, SR, CA | 04.29.2014 | 2:36 pm

    WBR is lucky to have Lisa as an ambassador. Donation made, good luck with the challenge and may lots of needy people in Zambia be helped out.
    I much prefer the idea of giving bicycles which help real people, than giving money to these countries which so often ends up in the pockets of the wrong people. Thanks for making a difference in people’s lives.


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