Bike Camp visits Camp Mak-a-dream

Tomorrow we will be rolling into Portland and even I am in disbelief of the fact that we have ridden our bikes all the way here, from New York none the less. I have been thinking a lot about the fact that the 2009 team’s ending city was Portland, and while I am excited to visit such an amazing city, I am not yet ready for this journey to end.

Since my last blog I had the opportunity to visit an active session of Camp Mak-a-dream, a summer camp outside of Missoula, Montana. A group of six, including myself woke up early on our rest day and drove to the camp, unsure of what to expect. It was sibling’s week at camp, and very similar to Camp Kesem, all of the campers in attendance had sisters and brothers or close family members that were affected by cancer. The other riders and I had the chance to conduct several portraits, tour the camp, and visit with campers but most of all, I got to experience a different perspective than I have ever encountered when it comes to cancer. Coaxing a thirteen year old boy to sit still and talk to a few strangers while at his second day of camp was not exactly the easiest thing to do, but it was a portrait I will never forget. Talking about this particular camper’s experience while his sister was undergoing treatment was difficult; he expressed his frustrations about not knowing what was going on, to having to wait in the hospital all the time, to feeling helpless and alone. What was amazing about his story was the energy at which he approached everything, his willingness to share his experience, and to find a silver lining. He also explained how he channeled his frustrations into movie making, creating his own dramas to get his mind off of what was going on with his sister’s illness.  If these young campers were brave enough to make it through their family’s battle with cancer, then I know that I can find the strength to make it through these last couple weeks of the trip.

While we are out of the Mountains, the terrain still has not completely flattened out, and the wind has picked up quite a bit the closer we have gotten to the coast. I can’t complain though, as we have had some amazing riding days traveling along the banks of the Columbia River George jumping from Washington to Oregon and back again. I am more than excited to hit the coast, and look forward to dipping my tires in the Pacific! Be sure to check back here for updates soon!

Comments (1)
  • Brad Topol Brad Topol says:

    Awesome! So cool to hear about Mak-A-Dream. Have fun in Portland. I’ll see you in San Fran!

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