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November, 2012

 

                     COLORADO CYCYLING TEAM

November 2012 Newsletter

Upcoming Team Events

Holiday Caroling Project – Dec. 8th

Have you always pictured yourself singing to cheering crowds on “American Idol” or “The X Factor”?  No?  Come sing anyhow and help our CCTBL team deliver some holiday cheer to cancer patients who are stuck in the hospital over the holidays.  We’ll be singing carols at the Foothills Hospital in Boulder on Saturday, December 8th at 1:00.  All voices welcome!  Please contact Susan Bockhoff at sbockhoff@comcast.net if you’d like to participate. 

Operation Christmas Tree – Dec. 15

On December 15th we’ll be cutting down Christmas trees with the help of CCTBL Forest Service representatives Meg Halford and Kelly Burns.  We’ll then be delivering trees to cancer patients from the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute and also Presbyterian St. Luke’s hospital in Denver.   These trees are for cancer patients and caregivers who are stuck in the hospital over the holidays and need help to organize their holiday celebration at home.  George Florentine is coordinating this effort; please e-mail him at George.florentine@flatironssolutions.com for details. 

 

Team Member Monthly Profile – Timmy Richter

 

Timmy with his daughter Audrey and wife Robin at the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Austin

 

Timmy Richter was born in El Paso Texas, and moved to Colorado around age 3. He lived here in Colorado Springs until his junior year in high school, when his father took a job to work on Okinawa, Japan. He graduated from Kubasaki High School on a military base on the island of Okinawa. It was there, while working on a mobile RV Burger King that he met his wife Robin. He enlisted into the Air Force from Okinawa and married Robin after Tech School on the way to his first duty assignment in Incirlik Turkey. After enduring the first Gulf War in Turkey, he decided it was time to get out of the Air Force and move back to Colorado.

               Once they settled in Colorado Springs, Robin went to school to become a nurse. Tim worked with HP, Apple, SCI, and finally settled at SRC Computers (founded by Seymour Cray). In 1999 their daughter Audrey was born.  Timmy and his family now enjoy camping, hiking, canoeing, attending Audrey’s soccer games, watching Colorado College Hockey, and of course bicycling. Says Tim, “Colorado will always be our perfect home and playground”. 

               Timmy was diagnosed with Primary Liver Cancer on December 31, 2008. He had never had a symptom and felt none of the effects from liver failure. The new year looked dreadful initially but he soon found some hope. The cancer had been caught early enough to allow him to get a position in the waiting list for a liver transplant. However, his position on the list was precarious because of the number and size of tumors that had been found in his body.  If the tumors were too numerous or too large the transplant would be impossible because the immunosupressant drugs required for the transplant could cause the cancer to spread.

               In an attempt to slow the tumors’ growth Tim was given chemoembolization treatments. During chemoembolization, chemotherapy is injected through a catheter directly into a tumor using image guidance. The chemotherapy drugs are mixed with particles, called microspheres, which block the flow of blood to the tumor. The side effects from these treatments made Tim feel like he had the flu for a few days. Tim thought these effects were small enough that he was pushing to get as many treatments as possible. He also worked out as hard as he could, with the belief that surgery always goes better when you’re physically fit. It was during this time that a friend asked Timmy to read Lance Armstrong’s book. He had been a cycling fan since high school but had never understood Lance’s cancer story.  His story helped Tim understand two important things:  you’re never alone in a cancer battle; and his situation, while bad, was not worse than anyone else going through cancer. In fact he began to focus on the advantages he did have. He was physically and mentally better than many going through it, and he had incredible support from family and friends. He read some remarkably inspirational stories through LIVESTRONG and used those as fuel for his workouts. He dusted off his bike and began to ride for his life.

               Timmy finally got his transplant June 12, 2009 at the University of Colorado Hospital. After a 9-day hospital stay he began his recovery, and completed the Donor Dash 5K run just three weeks later.  He was back on his bike in less than 3 months.

During this time, another friend, living in Austin, invited Timmy to come down and ride in the LIVESTRONG Challenge. Tim took that challenge and completed two more Team LIVESTRONG events the following year, one rainy 45 mile Challenge in Seattle (the last year they had one there), and a 65 mile challenge in Austin.  This past year Timmy completed two Elephant Rock rides (for Team Transplant & The American Transplant Foundation), and rode the LIVESTRONG Challenge 100-mile ride in Austin.  He has also participated in numerous 5K runs and has ridden in the BStrong ride in Boulder two years in a row.  It was at the BStrong ride that he met some CCTBL team members and decided to join the team. 

Says Tim, “I feel that I’ve only gotten started now!  I’m a firm believer that if you’re not moving, you’re not living and there are no legitimate excuses for living life on a couch. “ He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche 

 

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Of Tights and Men

by Brian Phillips

I wish I could include a photo of myself to effectively illustrate this piece. I really do. But I refuse to be seen in public without a shirt. Shirtless and pantless is completely out of the question. Besides, a naked dude is perhaps one of the most un-aesthetically pleasing sights on the planet.

This morning, donning my cyclist costume, I began with leg warmers and arm warmers. As I went to retrieve my bibs, I walked past a mirror which is usually not an event for me (I gave up vanity years ago). But for whatever reason, this time I was conscious of my own reflection. Legs and arms sheathed in black Lycra. The rest of me, pasty and nekkid.

After some 30 or so years of bike riding, I am pretty comfortable in cycling gear and have no issues with my masculinity while wearing tights and form-fitting, logo-festooned garments. It takes a real man to shave his legs and be proud of it, after all. But that’s a whole other post. I digress. But there I was wearing only what in my mind had suddenly become thigh-high stockings and arm-length gloves like this man:


What if my children saw me like this? “Dad! You look like a transvestite!” (Not that transvestites don’t like to ride bikes.) “Don’t worry kids, some sports simply require a little gender bending and it’s not like I’m wearing a costume with glitter & makeup or anything!”


I felt more complete as I finally pulled on my bibs and jersey, turning from an America’s Got Talent wannabe into something more like a pedal pushing aerodynamic superhero. I kissed my wife before I went down stairs to head out on my bike, pausing briefly to ask, “Does this make my ass look big?”

(no offense to the figure skating community)

Seattle Genetics:  On the Leading Edge of Breakthrough Cancer Therapies

by Susan Bockhoff

While on a trip to Seattle, CCTBL members Susan Bockhoff and George Florentine visited Seattle Genetics, the small pharmaceutical company that developed Adcetris, the drug that has been hailed as the new “wonder drug” for treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma. When George had a relapse following his initial round of chemotherapy, he underwent another round of chemo and a stem-cell transplant to put him into remission.  He then participated in a clinical trial of Adcetris as a follow-up to help prevent future recurrence.

 

Seattle Genetics takes up two buildings in a wooded office park in Bothell, Washington, just north of Seattle. We met with Peggy Pinkston, the Communications Director for the company.  Seattle Genetics was founded by Clay Siegall and Perry Fell in 1997. They had both been working on Antibody-Drug Conjugate (ADC) technology for Bristol-Meyers-Squibb, but when that company decided not to move ahead, the two decided to continue the work under their own umbrella.  The ADC process consists of three parts:  an antigen that can seek and find cancer cells containing the CD-30 protein specific to Hodgkin lymphoma (as well as several other types of cancer), a powerful cytotoxic (cell-killing) agent called an auristatin, and a linker system that binds the two.  The ADC drug can thus find and destroy only the targeted cancer cells.  This approach is intended to spare non-targeted cells and thus reduce many of the toxic effects of traditional chemotherapy. 

The initial results against Hodgkin lymphoma during clinical trials were so good that the drug was fast-tracked for FDA approval, being approved in 5 years versus the 8-10 years new drugs usually take.    The ADC technology is now in various stages of development and clinical trials for drugs to treat non-Hodgkin lymphomas, renal cell carcinomas, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, myeloid leukemia, and breast cancer.   In addition, Seattle Genetics is partnering with other pharmaceutical companies like Genentech to develop ADC-based treatments for ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma, melanoma, and squamous cell tumors. 

Seattle Genetics employs over 50 research scientists who typically have PhD’s in chemistry or biochemistry, PharmD, or MD credentials.   We got to tour their entire building full of labs where people are researching new therapies and developing drug prototypes (the production of their released and approved pharmaceuticals is done elsewhere).   

We asked Peggy what motivates the people who work there and whether they’re worried about the competition. Says Peggy, “We don’t worry about the competition – we take the attitude that we’re all here to fight cancer, and cancer is the enemy, not another drug company.”     The people we met were all motivated to improve the lives of those diagnosed with cancer, and they were thrilled to meet George as one of their successful customers. 

The great thing is that they have a bike team, and George is already planning to set up some rides with them next summer in Seattle, so stay tuned!

 

 

11 Foods That Your Fridge Should Not Be Without

By Bunny Foxhoven

Where’s the first place you go when you have the urge for something to eat? Most likely it’s the refrigerator. When you open the door are you faced with the temptation of leftover pizza and chicken wings? Want to build a defensive wall of healthy foods to help resist the urge to snack on something you’ll regret later? Here are eleven foods your fridge should never be without. They are the “no-excuses to eat junk”  foods you can depend on to ensure you stick to that meal plan.

 

Glass container of tap water: Cheaper than purchased bottled water, water tastes better in a glass container ice-cold from the fridge and could help you resist that urge to reach for a soda. It’s a well-proven trick to drink first, when you think you’re hungry!

Fresh Orange juice: Packed with vitamin C, and now often fortified with calcium, it’s a refreshing wake-up drink that ensures a healthy does of immune boosting vitamin C as well as other disease preventing phytochemicals.

Eggs: One of nature’s most nutritious, original “fast foods”, eggs are an instant protein-packed breakfast item that can also be eaten for lunch or dinner in a tasty omelet or kept hard-boiled for convenient, nutritious snacks anytime. 

Skim or low-fat milk or low-fat soymilk: High in protein and calcium with little or no fat, skim milk provides a great balance of carbs to protein. It’s the perfect after-workout re-fueler.  Pour it over high fiber cereal for a late night snack instead of the chips and beer.

Nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt: Buy it plain and then sweeten it to your own taste.  Yogurt is indispensable for making fruit smoothies, putting on top of fresh fruit and granola, or as a substitute for higher fat sour cream on your baked potato, in salad dressings, or for dips. Strain it through cheesecloth to make a yummy, low fat, cream cheese substitute. Plain yogurt is also a proven immune system booster, containing over ten vitamins and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, pantothenic acid, zinc, potassium, protein molybdenum, and vitamin B12.

Fresh greens: One of the quickest, easiest dinner meals is a salad. It all starts with a bed of healthy, dark green leafy goods, like spinach or mesclun greens.  Top with some chickpeas or tuna (keep cans in the cupboard), a small sprinkling of parmesan cheese and salad dressing, and whatever other fresh veggies, fruits, leftover meats or cheeses you can harvest from the fridge.

Lemons: Lemon juice adds great natural flavor without calories.  Perk up a glass of ice water with a fresh slice, squeeze on fresh fish before cooking or use lemon juice as a low-fat salad dressing.

Carrots: Carrots are a ‘root’ vegetable, and can stay fresh in the bottom of your vegetable bin for a couple of months. Pull them out for a healthier alternative to chips for dipping, to grate on top of a salad or shred for your sandwich when the lettuce has long ago turned brown.

Whole wheat wraps: They’ll keep better than whole wheat bread in the bread drawer. Full of fiber and whole grain goodness, use them to wrap up just about anything, especially if it has to be ‘to-go’. Particularly good are leftover grilled meats or scrambled eggs.

Nuts: Nuts keep best cold, to prevent oxidation of their oils. Nuts are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and are a proven heart healthy addition to a daily diet when eaten instead of (not in addition to) high fat meats or dairy. A handful of walnuts or almonds is a satisfying snack, or good for adding crunch and nutrition to cereals, salads, and even pasta dishes.

Natural peanut butter: It will keep best in the fridge. Pull out a little ahead of time to give it time to soften and become more spreadable. Use instead of butter to spread on morning whole grain toast for more protein and healthier fat. Mix it with a little soy sauce and sesame oil to top hot, whole-wheat noodles for a quick, savory lunch or dinner. Keep that box of whole-wheat organic crackers in the cupboard to help prevent eating the peanut butter by the spoonful. The calories can add up to quickly otherwise.

 

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