Family ride-along to Rochester rest day

It’s been a while since my last post so I have many updates!

I had a great two days in Chicago and was able to see family, friends and neighbors at a BBQ at my house. It was fun to catch up with everyone, share pictures, and show off my pretty tan lines. Uncle Don was especially fond of the glove tan lines. Jane even spent the night and was able to help me pack and gave me some excellent braids.

On family ride-along day I was greeted at Millenium park by a good family friend Judy Weingarz. It was such a nice surprise to see her and catch up. Since my family was late getting to the park, Mrs. Weingarz was there for me during the appreciation Mosher. I had a great time biking with my dad, Johnny and Carolyn and in Highland Park I was able to meet up with my mom and Aunt Patty.

We had a great stay at Kyle’s church and were able to meet with Jon Schlesinger, one of the founders of I4K. It was great to hear him talk about his original vision for the organization and I hope we’re able to keep connection to the cause alive.

In Fitchburg my mom, my sister (and her friend Annie) came and brought us dinner. They also brought us lunch along the way the next day. It was fun to try and coordinate the lunch stop with my mom because she had no cues and none of us had cell reception. Apparently she was channeling Sean Laude on the way and got the SUV caught in a ditch. It worked out in the end and we all layed a grassy knoll eating while Sadie begged for treats.

The hills of Wisconsin weren’t too bad but they led us to the headwinds of Minnesota. We’re now in Rochester, MN. We arrived just after a bad storm and have seen some of the aftermath of its destruction around town.

Last night we visited a ACS Hope Lodge center where cancer patients can live while they are undergoing treatment at the Mayo Clinic. We walked in and were greeted by a cute welcome sign. Donna was the woman working the front desk and she gave us a tour of the place and told us some amazing stories. Afterward, we ate fruit (!!), bagels and juice and got to visit with some of the residents and do some portraits. I helped interview a mother who was a breast cancer survivor and then her son who is currently being treated at Mayo for leukemia.

Today we got a tour of the Cancer library in Mayo Clinic from Sara. She told us about the center and we were all able to read some material and take some home. The room had some artwork in it and one of my favorites was a paper mache sculpture entitled “Annie.” It was of a woman with one breast kneeling on the ground with a butterfly in her hand. Strewn on the ground behind her was an appointment book containing various to-dos and meetings. The description of the piece said that these appointments represent banalities of a former existence. It seems like the people we have spoken to all say that having cancer has reoriented their perspective in some way.

Comments (5)
  • Susan Blair says:

    Hi Mary- sorry we missed you when you were in Chicago. I have been reading your blog and it sounds like you are having fun. I am glad you are enjoying Rochester- we lived there for 5 years and it is a great town- Katie was actually born there! I am glad the hills along the Wisconsin-Minnesota line didn’t give you too much trouble- it can be pretty hilly and steep. The sculpture sounds amazing and clearly touched you. Keep up the great work and stay safe and away from some of these nasty storms…..

  • Kelly Knibbs says:

    Hey Mary! It sounds like you have had quite the journey so far! I wish I was home to go to your bbq and see those tan line. I can’t believe how far you have come and how much more you have left! It is truly an amazing thing you are doing and I am so proud of you. Stay safe and keep the stories coming (you are not only a biker, but a great writer too).

  • Jane Powers says:

    Did the braids hold up ok? It was SO good to see you and catch up!! Miss you already, comi-ta ta etha(s)! :)

  • Rachel Carlson says:

    Mary! I’m so impressed to hear you tales as you trek across the country…I literally am tearing up before I read this going to work haha. What an accomplishment. You guys are truly amazing and I know CK values your contributions so much! Keep pounding the carbs you’re my hero


  • Anne Knibbs says:

    Hi Mary and fellow riders,
    Hope you are doing well. How is your leg injury? I have been thinking of you and pray that the weather has been bearable for all of you.

    Hope you enjoyed “rest day” and took it easy!

    What a journey you all have embarked on. I have enjoyed reading your blogs and learning about your quest.

    I read something today about a woman who lived with cancer for 23 years. She said, “You should never let the diagnosis (of cancer)destroy your day-to-day happiness. I am sure you are meeting truely courageous and inspirational people throughout your travels.

    I am very proud to know you and to call you niece. May God bless you and your fellow riders.

    Aunt Anne

    PS..Uncle Don loved hearing that you mentioned him on your blog. He also told me to tell you how much he admires your strength and commitment.

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