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 Kathy's House can be accessed here: Donate to support Kathy's House This is Max's story:
Max Lindert, his wife Kris and two boys, hail from Hazlehurst, Wisconsin, and currently live on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. An organic farmer, he has operated a small family farm serving local farmers markets and communities in and around Port Townsend.
Max found out he had colorectal cancer in 2017. Over the course of his cancer battle, he faced 4 rounds chemotherapy, 30+ days radiation treatment and numerous trips to Seattle for specialized care.
He recounted the challenges of radiation treatment and the challenges he faced as a rural patient. At one point over the course of 30 days, he faced radiation every day. It was a 40-minute drive to the nearest treatment location. There was of course the mental and physical toll. And there were logistical issues, too. His wife couldn’t take off work. Max couldn’t work himself. If not for a local church group providing free transportation to each radiation treatment, waiting for him and driving him home – he wouldn’t have been able to make it.
He is quick to note that he felt fortunate because he “only” had to travel 40 minutes for his oncology department joking that’s the benefit of being near the “big city” of Port Townsend. But for many other rural patients, they aren’t so close. The reality isn’t a joke – having to drive hours for radiation, fusion hydration or other treatment is a big deal on many levels – physically, emotionally, financially.
After being in remission, Max learned this spring that his cancer had returned in his lymph nodes. This May, he is scheduled for surgery and potentially chemotherapy to follow. For this, he will have to go to Seattle, a trip he’s had to make numerous times already this spring – at an average cost per trip for transportation alone, including car, ferry, parking at $100. That’s not to mention any lodging costs or other related travel costs.
When Max goes in for surgery, his wife will drop him off in Seattle and return home to work and take care of their two boys. Max will have to face the week of surgery in Seattle without family.
Want to help this cause? Additional medical bills, lost wages, transportation costs – these are some of the ways we can support Max and his family. 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