September 21st was indeed the most wonderful day!
I had it in my sights for months and months. It was the Bike for Cancer Care ride for the Benedictine Health Foundation’s Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund. I had participated in the ride two years ago. I raised money in honor of my father who died from cancer. I rode the 50 mile loop and loved the whole event.
At the beginning of this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Gruner Fund was there for me at a very difficult time, and through my process of surgery and radiation. During that time I made it my goal to be out on the 50 mile ride again this year, and started training right after radiation treatments ended.
The ride went so well and I raised over $1,600 for the fund. I was so glad that I could contribute back to the fund that assisted me and helps others who are in need of care. When you are going through the financial stress and exhaustion of daily treatments their helping hand is so supportive. Thank you so very much Gruner family for all that you do for this community. – Kristin Flynn
Recently I was asked to share the reasons why we donate to the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Bike for Cancer Fund. When my husband Ozzie was diagnosed with rectal cancer in July of 2009, I felt as though we were given a death sentence. I lost my Mom to colon cancer in 1965. I was a sophomore in high school, and she had just celebrated her 42nd birthday before she passed. For most of my life, I have associated cancer with death. Back then, the idea of a cure was pretty remote, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments were not all that accessible. Since then, much has changed.
When Ozzie started treatment prior to his surgery, we went daily for radiation treatments, and weekly for chemotherapy. At Benedictine Hospital’s Oncology Center, we had the pleasure of meeting recipients who were benefiting from the great rewards of the Gruner Fund. It was a wonderful experience to learn that the Fund afforded people with gift cards for food and gas cards to afford transportation to and from treatment. The Oncology Support Program offered counseling, support groups and many other services.
In September of 2009, our sons Paul and Joe formed “Team Ozzie” for the Bike for Cancer. So many of our friends, family and business associates were so generous donating to the cause, and they continue to do so.
It has been a truly rewarding experience to participate in such a great cause. We were very fortunate — we had good insurance, a strong family core, and family and friends who were on our journey along with us. Some days were harder than others, but at the end of each day we were always very grateful to the Lord above.
I encourage anyone who would like to make a difference to join us in September, and participate in the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Bike for Cancer Care Ride. Good food, good company, and at the end of the day a great feeling of accomplishment.
Kathleen M. Beichert – May 2013