2018 marks the tenth year from my original Prostate Cancer diagnosis (at age 48!). Despite a speedbump recurrence at year five, I have been cancer free for the last four years and plan to remain so! Meanwhile, I continue to ride my bike raising money for cancer research at the University of Minnesota to FIND A CURE. I am all about grassroots efforts that give money directly to those who do the research, treat the patients and make a difference instead of giving money to a large administrative national fundraising organization where admin costs support large salaries. Through this site, 100% of the funds raised go directly to cancer research and treating cancer patients.
My cancer story is one of being incredibly lucky, or one of devine intervention, depending on one's perspective. I was completely asymptomatic and went to have a routine physical six months before my scheduled time because my wife needed to renew her prescription and wouldn't make an appointment. So, we made appointments together and turned it into a lunch date. What ensued were a series of medical choices that could have led away from the final diagnosis (normal PSA, etc.) but a lump was palpated, eventually biopsied, and I was found to have high grade (Gleason 9) Prostate Cancer. Had this not been found until my normally scheduled appointment, my story would be much different today.
There is no doubt that cancer sucks. The dread and fear that set in when I heard my diagnosis will be with me always. Fortuantely, the cancer was caught just as it was ready to escape the prostate and surgery was successful. Thus started my fundraising campaign to raise awareness, early detection and better treatment... in other words, TO FIND A CURE. What I learned through my fundraising efforts was that cancer affects all of us in some way. Whether through a personal diagnosis or through that of a loved one… a parent, spouse, sibling, friend or neighbor… everyone has a story to tell. The good news is that research has made great strides over the last ten years improving life expectancy and quality of life for cancer patients. Early detection, cancer awareness and immunotherapy are a few of the reasons why cancer death rates have fallen since 1990. However, we have a long way to go before we can live in a cancer-free world. We need better methods of treatment and detection. Please join me in my efforts to FIND A CURE! NO DONATION IS TOO SMALL as every bit helps make a difference. Donations are completely tax-deductible.
This year, I've chosen my century ride (100 miles) to be the ChainBreaker, a relatively new ride (in its second year) supported by the University specifically to raise funds for cancer research.
IMPORTANT POINTS ABOUT DONATING
- If giving in honor of or in memoriam, please be sure to include the person’s name. Names associated with a donation of $100 or more will be displayed on my bike during the ride.
- Individual or Corporate donations of $500 or more will have their name/logo recognized as a Sponsor.
Does your employer match gifts? This can double your donation! Check out your company at: https://give.umn.edu/waystogive/matching-gifts. If not listed or this link doesn’t work, check with your Human Resource Department. You may need to submit a form with a Tax ID# for the charity and it is 41-6042488.
Thank you in advance for your support! Please join my efforts and make a donation. Your help is needed and it really does make a difference!
Paying it Forward and Celebrating Life,
Ford Erickson, MD
University of Minnesota Staff & Alumni