Mother's Day Milers - Riding for Kathy's House

$3,630 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 57 people in 4 months
Last year on Mother’s Day our mom passed away after a battle with cancer.  She loved the outdoors, and was a friend to many who needed a friend in a difficult time.  In her honor, we're launching Mother's Day Milers - a cycling fundraiser to support rural families facing cancer. Our goal: to ride 4,000 miles over the next 6 months – riding mile for dollar up to $4,000 through your donations. Proceeds will support our brother-in-law, Max and his family - a rural family currently facing cancer recurrence, and Kathy's House, Inc. - a non-profit hospital guest that serves patients of all ages and their caregivers who need to travel to Milwaukee for medical care. Our goal is $2,000 for each. How can you help? It's easy. Be a virtual rider with us by making a donation via this GoFundMe page.

Our sister donation page for Max's cause can be accessed here: Donate to Max's Cause  

More about Kathy's House:

Kathy's House is a hospital guest house committed to providing affordable lodging and caring support in a "home away from home" environment for patients and their families who need to travel to Milwaukee for medical care. Since opening in 2001, Kathy’s House has provided lodging, a supportive environment, and amenities such as transportation to area hospitals to more than 17,000 individuals.

Many families who stay at Kathy’s House are from low or fixed income households. By providing access to care for these families, we help address a profound societal ill; health disparities among low income and underrepresented groups such as families living in rural areas. The majority of Kathy’s House guests live in rural areas or cities much smaller than Milwaukee. By providing housing for these patients and their family members while they are obtaining advanced medical treatment in Milwaukee, Kathy’s House is helping to reduce these health disparities.

Due to mounting healthcare costs, lost wages, and travel costs, many families traveling to Milwaukee for medical care are unable to afford hotels. Studies show that a medical diagnosis, including cancer, brings financial burden to families. One third of guests report incomes <$30,000, and many of these low-income families include children. They are able to donate little, if anything, toward the cost of their stays. 

The actual cost per night to stay at Kathy’s House is $87. Our average guest donation is $32 per night. Yet, Kathy’s House does not turn anyone away due to an inability to pay; we know that there are significant consequences in doing so. Forty percent of our guests have indicated they would not have been able to access medical care without a facility such as Kathy’s House.

For more information about Kathy’s House, please visit www.kathys-house.org 

More about the needs of rural families facing cancer: 

A cancer diagnosis presents particularly significant issues for rural residents and providers. Depending on stage and site, cancer typically requires expensive treatments from multiple specialists, and the disease and treatment can make it difficult for patients to drive or even walk. Those living in large rural towns must travel a median of 51 minutes to get to any specialized oncology care, and In order to reach the nearest academic-based care, they must travel a median of 83 minutes. Exacerbating these issues, rural populations are more socioeconomically disadvantaged, and some patients face financial barriers to transportation, including not having enough money for gas or even a car. There is also the issue of lodging - for both patients and families - which for rural families can be an impediment to receiving needed care. For Kathy's House one of our two beneficiaries, they report that 40% of patient guests they serve, would not have been able to access needed medical care without the guest house.

Our website for this fundraiser can be accessed here: www.mothersdaymilers.org 
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We have an update on Max, and special family reflection for the 4th - please visit our ride hub - http://www.mothersdaymilers.org/virtual-ride-hub

As we reach the end of June, we’ve hit 1,000 miles. That’s a quarter way to our goal – keeping us on pace. You can get full mileage detail on our hub. We’ve been doing some beautiful riding in Solvang, CA, and the Greater Madison area of late.
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After a long May and beginning of June, my schedule is calming down again, affording me the ability to get outdoors more, for longer rides.

Family was deeply important to our mom. She always stressed the importance of family, and encouraged strong family values. Our family routinely took family trips up to Dam Lake, or Door County, where we would spend a large amount of time doing outdoor activities including biking, hiking, fishing, and various activities. In fact, our families will be going to Dam Lake shortly in July.

This last week, I was fortunate enough to take a couple days off work, and travel to Solvang, California with my wife's family. My wife Courtney, and her Dad (Jim), have been going to Alisal Ranch for 30 years together. Originally, Courtney and Jim would go up on father's day, for a week of father/daughter bonding. After Jim got remarried to Heidi, the group grew. The group grew again with the addition of Courtney's little brother (Jack) and sister (Riley). When I married into the family, I was invited along to the annual family trip.

While there, the family was able to participate in various activities together. Of course, Jim and I were able to get in two rides. On one ride, we road out to Neverland Ranch (Michael Jackson Ranch). On the second ride, we took on Foxen Canyon Road. The roads were fairly bumpy and patchy. However, the scenery was stunning - views of various vineyards, rolling hills and mountains, and ranches. In fact, there is an annual century ride here through wine country which I may try to do next year.

While not biking, I was able to spend some great time golfing with my little brother-in-law Jack, Grandpa Dave, and Jim. The golf course was very forgiving for those of you who have a hard time keeping the ball straight, yet challenging. I spent sometime shooting archery with Jack, playing bingo, doing some lake activities, and excellent bbq's. My wife and I also had a nice lunch date in Los Olivos.

This past week was the embodiment of what my mom loved - outdoor activities with the family. While it may be difficult to take time out the busy schedule of life, she always believed it was important to get away to spend time with the family. I know she would be proud and happy of us for this adventure.

​- Mike

As always, for full updates visit our virtual ride hub - http://www.mothersdaymilers.org/virtual-ride-hub
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Sometimes the ride is bumpy. Weather conditions, rough trails or roads, gear issues. That’s true in life too. Sometimes it’s bumpy. But rather than see it only as bad, there is an opportunity to be grateful in all circumstances, too. I was reminded of this on a recent ride.

My good friend and ride-supporter Kevin and I road out from Madison to Cambridge and back on a 50-mile loop. A casual spring ride that ended in 25 miles of steady rain – and my left crank came loose and off as a component on my crank set came ajar and off. This is truly rare! But I had the tools to fix it to make it back. And truth of the matter is, while you have to roll more cautiously when wet, there is a mystic and peaceful beauty in riding in such conditions. It was a beautiful ride with a good friend!

Meanwhile, Mike is pedaling away in Los Angeles. He’s found a challenging hill ride he enjoys in his area. But making time to ride is a challenge. He’s in the midst of a very busy work period all while moving into a new house. But he’s committed and he is able to enjoy the rides, able to manage through the busyness of the moment, able to find time on the road. He’s grateful for his job, new place to live, and opportunity to bike.

Different challenges, different circumstances, different opportunities to be grateful.

Kathy’s House is so very grateful for the fact that your donations now will support 67 nights for families to stay! There is no shortage in need for families looking for lodging, in fact, demand at Kathy’s House far exceeds available space. But 67 nights is a huge blessing and reason to be grateful. We were featured on TMJ4 – NBC news in Milwaukee on Mother’s Day. In case you missed it, hear from one family at Kathy’s House and just how grateful they are: TMJ4 Mother's Day Milers [link on our ride hub].

Max and his family are grateful for financial relief as the family faces additional challenges following his latest surgery. Since surgery, he has had to return to the hospital yet again and now likely faces radiation this summer.

Our Mom embodied this approach of gratitude even in challenging situations as much as anyone I’ve known – a great example to us all. In this fight against cancer as we stand with Max and rural families at Kathy’s House, we are grateful for the unified support from all of you. Grateful to with you collectively make a little difference, one family, one night’s stay, one mile, one ride at a time.

Many blessings to you all – Chris & Mike

Check out all the latest on our ride hub: www.mothersdaymilers.org/virtual-ride-hub
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Dear friends, thank you again for your generous support of this special ride, honoring our mom and helping Max and families like his at Kathy’s House during challenging times. It is truly humbling to have such support from you as we embark on the ride now underway. In my first blog on our ride hub ( www.mothersdaymilers.org/virtual-ride-hub), I reflect about feeling my mom’s presence out on the bike. What is so incredibly special is that I now see so many other faces riding with me too. Your faces. What a feeling it is to have the power of love and compassion collectively shared by so many at your back like the wind. To date we have more than 100+households/individuals supporting this ride through financial donations, and many more in other supportive ways. Through your generous response, we’ve now raised just shy of $6,000, exceeding our ride goal! Thank you! And with your help this Mother’s Day was truly special for our family, as we honor our dear mom whose selfless love, compassion and care for others, inspires and leads us in this ride. Many blessings to you all – Chris, Mike and the entire family
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Read a Previous Update

$3,630 of $2,000 goal

Raised by 57 people in 4 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Kathy's House, Inc.
Certified Charity
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Milwaukee, WI
EIN: 392022115
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