Tour de Kale History TDK Photo Gallery
TDK 2012, 1st Recipient TDK 2012 Photo Gallery
Charles and Tammy live in Rowan County, off of Bringle Ferry Road. Tammy is an office manager for Gentiva Home Health and Charles had in the past years taken on debt by starting a tree cutting business called Chuck “the Woodchuck” Tree Service Tammy has health insurance on both of them, but b/c he is self-employed there are limitations.
In July 2011 Charles was involved in an accident that left his leg mangled and had to go through surgery and rehab to recovery. When he was released, Charles was quick to go back to work and take care of his business. On December 2, 2011 during routine tree topping, something went terribly wrong by a seasoned employee and a limb weighting aprox 200lbs was cut and accidently fell on Charles who was working on the ground below. This tree fell approx. 30 feet and landed on Charles’s skull exposing his brain tissue. When the limb hit Charles he fell face down and this resulted in facial fx and a C1 fx in his neck. He was airlifted to Baptist Hospital and they did not expect him to live through the night and had Tammy call all the family in from out of state. When he made it 24 hours the hospital proceeded with every effort to save him.
He has brainstem function but no Cortex. He is presently at Baptist awaiting Carolina Rehab placement. Another big concern is a decubiti ulcer that he has developed giving him osteomyelitis. Charles still has a trachea, feeding tube and is on medication to stimulate the brain. He has made some progress: Follows with eyes, processing words with blinking and squeezing. He can move his fingers and left foot.
Tammy has been on FLMA for almost 12 weeks with no pay. The immediate concern Tammy has is making her house payments. Because Charles was self-employed he did not have workers comp and the bills are becoming astronomical. Tammy is trying to sell the equipment they have, but establishing a guardianship with the court has to take place and that takes time. But has been told by the court system that the money for the equipment can only be used to pay those loans off and cannot be used for the house or other utilities.
Charles and Tammy are very active in Christian activities. They had started a Drug Rehab Ministry for young men “Grace Recovery Center” and have helped many troubled men find God and have a successful rehab, Visit Charles’ web site to read his life testimony at gracerecoverycenter.org. Tammy is a former co-worker of mine and I can honestly say she is one of the kindest human beings I have ever known and has the faith of God in her heart.
Thanks, Lisa Grubb
2nd Recipient TDK 2012
James (Jimmy) Martin, he is 54 years old and is a resident of Denton. His siblings are Kathy Crowell, Teresa Parker, Sheila Garner, Karen Pierce, Scott Martin, Jeff Martin, and Pam Fee. He is the son of Jim and Janell Martin. He has been married to his wife Karen for 34 years. Together they have 3 daughters Jennifer, Andrea and Tara. They also have 9 grandchildren.
He has Wegener's disease, which is an uncommon disorder that
causes inflammation of your blood vessel, which in turn restricts blood flow to various organs. This has caused him to develop kidney failure, resulting in anemia. He has been in and out of High Point Regional Hospital mutliple times in the past several years and has had to recieve multiple blood transfusions due to anemia. He also has recieved chemotherapy and radiation for the treatment of Wegener's disease. He was recently admitted to High Point Regional Hospital on 1/17/12 and now transferred to Chapel Hill.
He is currently battling 2 different types of rare fungal pneumonias. Immunosuppression
from kidney failure and anemia has caused him to develop these fungal pneumonias.
His prognosis at this time is uncertain, and doctors are telling him and our family that
he will "have to fight" if he wants to live. On top of his current health problems he also
struggles with COPD and congestive heart failure. He is currently unemployed and has
not been approved to recieve disability benefits at this time.
Kris J. Hickey - President 2012
Elisha Cox Skeen Recipient TDK 2013
Elisha Cox Skeen TourdeKale 2013 Recipient.
Elisha, when she was just 29, was diagnosed with stage IIIc breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma) on November 9, 2011. She has had a double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. After many trials, we all thought the coast was clear. We learned, last week (Dec. 2012) that she now has brain mets. Which means that the breast cancer has "metastisized" (spread) to the brain. (hence, mets)
"Here is my story, the real story, of living through cancer and now, being diagnosed with a reoccurance. Leaning on the promises of God and trusting Him through it all."
Kris J. Hickey - TDK President 2013
The Tour de Kale has evolved over the past fourteen years into an extremely well executed and highly anticipated event in the cycling and running world. Riders from all over the southeast mark off the third Saturday in June for this premiere event. Riders and runners return year after year, catching up with old friends and making new ones all for the sake of helping someone in their time of need.
Tour de Kale is a benefit bike ride with benefits. TDK was founded in February 2000, by a group of friends who envisioned hosting a benefit bike ride and 5K run to help raise money to cover the medical expenses of namesake Kale Watkins after a skiing accident left him paralyzed. The event has continued to grow thanks to dedicated riders who are willing to go the extra mile and raise money for this wonderful cause.
TDK drew an amazing response right from the get-go and continues to be a superbly organized event with very scenic routes, awesome support from local volunteers, and a good lunch at the end of the ride. Members of the Tour de Kale committee work diligently throughout the year to ensure that the Tour de Kale remains one of the best rides and run in the Southeast. Joe Hutchins, of Clemmons, NC and an eleven-year veteran of TDK says, “This is my favorite event of the year. I met Kale my first year riding and he is my inspiration.” Kale remains the inspiration for the event and the reason behind the day. Tour de Kale’s only goal is to promote fitness and help others who are less fortunate.
This year approximately 340 cyclist participated in the event and TDK was well represented with riders from over 15 teams. Chair City Cyclist, headquartered in Thomasville, NC and owned and operated by Lynn Staley turned out huge for TDK. They brought the most the most riders with just under 30. VeloShine was next in line with another large group as always.
Winners in the men’s division include first place by Ryan Jenkins of Team Classic Cycling. Ryan is one of the best cyclist in the southeast having won almost every long distance mountain ride multiple times and every road race that exists. He is also an extremely accomplished time trailer.
Second place went to Chris Harkey of VeloShine Men’s Team. Chris is a multi-time National Champion. Third place went to two-time National Champion Scottie Weiss (USA), 2013 Assault on Mt. Mitchell Champion. Fourth place went to Jacob Arnold and fifth place went to Luke Sagur.
Lori Harkey was the women’s Summit Challenge winner. She is an extremely strong rider from VeloShine who has won many races over the past few years. Second place went to Arynn Schloemer of Bicycle Toy and Hobby. Third place went to Keli McDowell. Both of these ladies are accomplished riders and recently finished second and third in last year’s Bridge to Bridge.
The 5k run was a huge success this year with 254 runners up 100 runners from last year. The format was changed for the first time this year to incorporate a “Glow Run” and volunteers and cheer groups lined the street encouraging the runners. Special thanks to Mike Lanier and his Boy Scout Troop, Amanda Russell and her Girl Scout Troop, and Nancy Martin and The Horseman’s Association for organizing these cheer groups.
Peter Asciutto, owner of Vac and Dash in Albemarle really helped promote the event and the “Tour de Kale Band” entertained the crowd in Harrison Park. Winners from the race received a cash prize and a plaque. Women’s first place winner was Jennifer Parks at 20:09. Second place went to Shannon Davis at 20:32, and third place went to Connie Eckman at 24:48. In the men’s division first place went to Seth Utley at 17:59, second place went to Will Mitchell at 18:06, and third place went to Joe Sauerbrey at 18:17.
A complete listing of results along with addition photos can be found at www.tourdekale.com.
TourdeKale 2014 -- Kris J. Hickey - TDK President 2014
Get on Your Bikes and Ride
By Kelly Bledsoe
TourdeKale 2015 -- Kris J. Hickey - TDK President 2015
Gabriel and Drew are the recipients and will each receive 50% of the proceeds from the 2015 Tour De Kale.G Gabriel was born on May 3, 1987 and raised in Denton NC. He attended South Davidson High School where he graduated in 2003. Gabriel later helped coach the girl’s varsity basketball team at South Davidson.
After graduating from high school, Gabriel attended college at UNC Charlotte. He then attended Queens University where he graduated in 2008 with a RN Nursing degree.
Gabriel has worked in several hospitals during his career. He worked in the emergency room at Thomasville Medical Center. Gabriel most recently worked at Carolina’s Medical Center in Charlotte where he was employed at the time of his accident. He worked in the trauma center, operating room and emergency room there.
Even though Gabriel had a busy schedule with college and later his nursing career, he still gave his time at Providence Baptist Church working with the youth soccer program. He continued to do this up until his accident.
Gabriel was an avid bike rider. He started a bike club in Charlotte that met every Thursday. Gabriel enjoyed other interests as well that included spending time at the lake riding his Sea-Doo and kayaking.
Gabriel loves to travel. He has traveled to Europe twice, been to California and rode a train to New York. During his travels, Gabriel shared his friendly outgoing personality with everyone he met and formed many friendships. Still today, many of these friends from those countries and across the U. S. still make an effort to stay in touch and keep current with Gabriel’s health condition that has resulted from his car accident.
Gabriel was in a very bad car accident on May 14, 2014. He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury that has left him totally disabled and dependent on someone else for his every need. Gabriel requires 24/7 care and supervision. Needless to say, some of the care and supervision he needs requires payment.
The costs associated with Gabe’s care are growing. His father had to have a wheelchair ramp built in order to get him in and out of the house. The entire front room of his father’s house has been transformed into a “hospital like” room to help provide Gabe’s needs. Along with the hospital bed, his father also had to purchase one of the medical alternating air mattresses to keep Gabriel comfortable. Because Gabe cannot move on his own, the alternating air mattress provides the movement to help prevent pressure points and keep him comfortable.
The bathroom door in his father’s home had to be reconstructed in order to allow room for Gabe’s wheelchair. Even with the door expansion, a special shower still needs to be added that will allow room for him to be pushed in for a shower. This is something that is currently being worked on as funds permit. There will be many costs associated with future home reconstruction as needed in order to continue to provide and accommodate for Gabriel’s special needs.
Whenever Gabriel has a doctor appointment, his father has to hire a special needs van and driver to take him back and forth. The van is set up to transport Gabe safely and comfortably while he is in his wheelchair. The round trip travel costs associated with one doctor’s appointment is very high. Gabriel’s father needs to purchase a van that is equipped properly so that he can take Gabe back and forth to his doctor’s appointments and therapy appointments without all the costs and delays associated with hiring a van and driver.
There are many out-of-pocket costs associated with Gabe’s care that are small but necessary. Things used to give him a bath and hygiene care as well as clothing needs and special eating accommodations adds costs to the bottom line daily. Although some of these costs may be small, they add up to be costs that are hard to meet at times while trying to also provide Gabriel’s bigger needs.D Drew had a severe seizure and was taken to Thomasville Medical Center on Father’s Day, June 15, 2014. After a CT scan, we were told he had a brain tumor and he was transported to Forsyth Medical Center. An MRI revealed a “grapefruit sized” tumor in his right frontal lobe. He had surgery on June 26, 2014 and was diagnosed with Grade 3 Oligoastrocytoma Brain Cancer. They were unable to remove the entire tumor because it was too close to his motor-strip and could cause permanent damage to his left side. He underwent 6 weeks of radiation and then started chemo one week a month, which he will take for 12-18 months. His chemo dr wanted Drew to go to Duke for a second opinion, but because he has no insurance they will not see him. He has not been released to drive or work due to his continued chemo and because he still takes seizure medication three times a day. He is the father of a 5 month old son, Daylin Conner Hill.
Although Mike was not chosen as a beneficiary this year, we are conducting a ticket raffle and all proceeds from the raffle will benefit Mike.M Mike grew up in the mountains of NC, Brevard was my home. Graduated from Brevard Sr High and went on to Brevard Jr College before joining the Navy, served from 1967-1971. Met my wonderful wife in Brevard, we were married in 1967. 2 children & 5 grandchildren later we now reside in Denton NC. Worked at United Brass Works Inc. in Randleman for 26 years before retiring as Manufacturing Engineering Manager.
My wife is Fran Irby-ran Papa’s Pizza for years and she was a sub teacher. Daughter Sandy Lewis-Married to Billy Lewis Jr. Her two children are Ethan Amstutz and Ashley Amstutz. Son David Irby worked for the Denton Police Dept. for 5 years works at Thermo now. His wife is Rebecca Irby. His 3 boys are Joshua Irby, Caleb Irby, and Dustin Rosenbaum. We all live in Denton and all 5 grandkids graduated from South. I also Pastor a church, True Worship Church of Denton and my son David is the Assistant Pastor.
Needless to say, medical bills-expenses have been mounting these past 7+ years and with the Bone Marrow Transplant looming we need help. God Speed to you and your wonderful organization.
Brandon and Mary are the recipients and will each receive 50% of the proceeds from the 2016 Tour De Kale.
Brandon grew up in Denton and graduated from South Davidson High in 2009. He attended DCCC where he earned his degree in firefighting & emergency medicine. He has volunteered for Denton & Healing Springs fire depts. as well as Davidson County Rescue Squad. He worked as a paramedic for MEDIC in Charlotte from 2011 until May 2014. At that time he sustained a major shoulder injury, was then diagnosed with Rocky Mountain spotted fever and was then diagnosed with Grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare form of brain cancer. There is currently no cure for this kind of cancer. After surgery he had 6 weeks of radiation and chemo, and will have to take chemo once a month for at least a year. He has to make multiple trips monthly to Chapel Hill and frequently has to go the emergency room for headaches and possible seizures. There are enormous out of pocket expenses for medical bills, medicine and travel costs.
In June of 2015 she developed an infection in her sacrum bone. This was extremely painful for her and she was unable to work. Mary was employed at Walmart in Lexington. They were great about working with her during her treatments and welcomed her back with open arms as she recovered but she lost her job on June 30th 2015. Shortly after, her house went into foreclosure and sadly they lost their home. They were able to find an apartment nearby so their son Zachary was able to continue attending Central Davidson High School.
Thanksgiving 2015, she was diagnosed again. The cancer had returned in her sacrum. Since this diagnosis, Mary has had to spend more time in the hospital taking chemo, but with little effect. Radiation and surgery are not an option at this time. Mary has developed several more complications due to the colon cancer including a blood infection. At the moment Mary is in Baptist Cancer Center in severe pain. Her team of doctors are doing their best to decide how to treat her. Her husband is fortunate to have a great employer that allows him to be with her, but he’s not being paid.
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ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE CHECKS ARE TO Canaan UMC / TDK FUND
TDK c/o Sheri Skeen
726 Mountain Shore Drive
Denton, NC 27239
TDK, a non-profit organization fundraiser benefit Bicycle, Run and Walk event.
To date, the Tour De Kale organization has raised more than $547,966 for local beneficiaries in need.