The Chicago ride was this past Sunday -- what a fantastic time taking over Lake Shore Drive with all those bikes! A sincere thank you to all who supported me in my fundraising efforts!
Southwest Michigan was perfect for a ride this past Sunday, and I got a great pic of the Bonneville I'll be riding on September 30th. Between the vineyards, hop farms, corn fields and orchards, summer was definitely in the air. A sincere thank you to all who've contributed to my campaign so far, both near and far. It really means a lot. Thank you!
On August 22, 2016, I went to the Northwestern ER here in Chicago with what had escalated into the most excruciating back pain I’ve ever experienced. I was reduced to tears, incapacitated, and couldn’t move into any comfortable position. Results of scans showed multiple lesions on my spine that were compromising my vertebrae. ER doctors told me they suspected prostate cancer. A subsequent biopsy confirmed metastatic prostate cancer at the age of 47, young for an aggressive cancer that had already spread well outside of my prostate and into my lymph nodes and bones.
After undergoing targeted radiation therapy on my spine to relieve the immediate pain, I started the standard care of treatment: androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) and chemotherapy in an effort to get things under control, and lower my prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Unfortunately, ADT only works for a limited period of time before the body develops a resistance to it. ADT was effective for the first 20 months or so, but my PSA has begun to creep back up, a signal that the cancer will spread if left unchecked. Doctors also recommended genetic counseling to shed light on whether there was a genetic reason for the early onset and aggressiveness of my cancer. Results revealed I’d inherited a mutation in the BRCA2 gene which prevents my DNA from repairing itself.
On the bright side, the gene mutation has opened me up to other treatments that have the potential to be particularly effective, but they are not FDA approved, and are mostly available through clinical trials. As depressing as it is, I’ve forced myself to research these potential treatment options, associated side effects, etc. to find the best match for my case. I continue to be enrolled in one clinical trial at MD Anderson in Houston, where I was randomized into the control group (no treatment), and am currently undergoing an immunotherapy protocol as the next step in my treatment plan, now that ADT has begun to fail. The idea is to supercharge my immune system to prepare it for future treatments which I hope to begin soon, after my next round of scans.
The reality is that there is currently no cure for what I have, and I can only hope to extend my life for as long as possible before the disease takes over. I’m trying to remain optimistic and continue to hope for something that will provide some degree of sustainable longevity.
The Movember Foundation is doing some great work in support of research that could extend the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer. In fact, my oncologist at MD Anderson was one of just six recipients last year of a Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Challenge Award, awarded in partnership with the Movember Foundation. PCF received a donation of $5.4 million from the Movember Foundation to help fund the 2017 Challenge Awards. Of these funds, $687,000 came from the 2016 Distinguished Gentleman's Ride. Since 2007, the Movember Foundation has contributed more than $50 million to PCF to further new discoveries in prostate cancer research.
What am I doing to help cope with all of this uncertainty? First and foremost, I’ve been remarkably lucky and fortunate to have the support of a great family and network of friends, as well as access to fantastic medical care at Northwestern, University of Chicago and MD Anderson. I have also found quite a bit of meditative relief in riding my motorcycles (a Triumph Tiger 800 XC and a Triumph Bonneville T100). Amongst countless other weekend rides, I’ve had an incredible amount of fun riding around Lake Michigan (clockwise and counter-clockwise), seeing some of the most beautiful stretches of Lake Superior (Copper Harbor and Highway 61), exploring Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, traveling into northern Minnesota and Canada, and hitting five countries in central Europe. For me, the need to focus on not much more than the few seconds and road immediately in front of me that comes with motorcycling has been immensely therapeutic for taking my mind off things.
So … what could be better than the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride for giving me the chance to do one of the things I enjoy most, while simultaneously raising money for prostate cancer research and men’s mental health issues? Finally, that’s where you come in. I’m asking you to please consider making a donation and sponsoring me on the 2018 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. Don’t forget about your employer’s matching contribution, if available. Take a look at the pictures on my page (by scrolling down) to see my Triumph Bonneville T100 I’ll be riding on September 30th (and also a few pics of my Triumph Tiger). Profound thanks for your consideration! Brian.
On Sunday the 30th of September, I will don my finest attire with my fellow men and women across the globe to join the fight with The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride to raise awareness for prostate cancer and men's mental health. But before I press my tweed and polish my boots, I need you to donate what you can for this meaningful cause and help me reach my goal.
For your uncles, your brothers, your fathers and friends. Donate what you can, for their lives need not end.
We love you and wish we could be there be there for it. We hope you have a spectacular fall ride on Sunday!
Brian - Thank you for doing the ride and being part of this cause. And, thank you for sharing your full story. The Scully Family thinks about you all the time.
I am looking forward to hearing about the ride.
You’ve got me in your prayer corner! Add that to the bio!
We love you!
Ride on, Sir!
Stay strong Brian! Have a great ride!
Wishing you a safe ride and a very Happy Birthday to you and Lisa!
Live Strong and Stay Strong Brian!
~Straight roads do not make skillful drivers~ Yaissou!
Thank you for sharing your story. Sending thoughts and prayers to you and Lisa. Enjoy the ride!!!
Here’s to you Brian!
Enjoy every minute you have.
All best for a wonderful ride into the great wide open.
Sending thoughts and prayers to you, Lisa and the boys! Stay positive and we are in your corner to beating cancer! Enjoy the ride and be safe!
Enjoy the ride! All the best!
Woo hoo, tweedapalooza! Have a great ride, Brian. Stay strong, keep fighting. We're thinking of you.
Wishing you all the best Brian!
Ride like the wind!
Beautiful bikes and great post. Enjoy your ride!
Good luck in the fundraising! Have a great ride!
Ride strong, brother!
Sending strength, support, hope, and healing energy to you and your family.
Enjoy the ride!
Cheering for you Brian! All My Best to You, Lisa and Your Family!
Ride on Brian!
Positive thoughts and well wishes coming to you from North Carolina. Keep battling and ride on, my friend.
Bless you on this journey Brian !
Sending our support, optimism, strength, and wishing you all the best!
Brian, What an honor to be able to show our support and love for an amazing person and beautiful family. You are in our prayers. Enjoy the ride! We can't wait to see the pictures!
in strength, friendship and sincere admiration...
Have a great ride!
Thanks for making the ride. My father had prostrate cancer and I appreciate the research funding. Sending prayers and good wishes your way.
Enjoy the Ride!
We are thinking about you guys. Rock the tweed and have a great ride.
Here’s to not letting cancer define who we are.
I prefer the Indian, by Triumph works almost as well!
Thank you to Mike McGrew for sharing your story that you have written so well. I remember some fun times at OSU and am sending up prayers for a safe ride and full healing.
Have a great ride Brian.
Enjoy the ride. Strength.
Wishing you all the power of thoughts and prayers that we can send your way!! ????????
Thank you for sharing your story. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
Brian, the Triumph Bonneville T100 looks great. Keep riding!
Brian, we are thinking about you and your family. Wishing you a great ride. - Tom and Marketa
Good luck on your ride and keep fighting!
Brian - so proud to know you. Congrats on a great ride!
Brian, Enjoy your ride, most important, hang tough health wise. You can beat this. Uncle Roger, Aunt alicia
Ride on bro!
happy riding to you!
Have a great ride!
hey Brian, It's awesome that you're raising money for this cause. Have a great ride! ~Mike
Happy to contribute to a worthy cause! Enjoy the ride!
Have a great ride!!
Hope you have great weather as you fight for a great cause. Continued prayers for healing.
Go man go!
Happy 50th Brian & Lisa! We look forward to hearing about the ride next weekend. Enjoy!
Thinking of you, Lisa and the kids. Jill and Dan Niewoehner
Praying for you! Immunotherapy has had some amazing outcomes, so let’s hope this is the answer. Have a great ride!
Have a great ride Brian!
Brian, I'm so glad to participate in this. I hope the ride is amazing!
Brian -- we are praying for you. Enjoy the ride!
Nice ride + great cause = fun day. enjoy
Brian- You're an inspiration to this ride... Keep your positive attitude. I hope that you reach your goal and enjoy the DGR 2018.
Best wishes on your upcoming ride and continued brave journey.
Thanks Brian for sharing and doing this for all of us men! Good Luck!
Really inspirational Blog Brian! I'm taking part in the Sacramento ride with my cousin and will be thinking of you. Stay Strong!!
Brian, They say...”Life is a Highway”..... Enjoy the Ride!
The Browns are behind you. Enjoy your ride!
Prayers from Nashville! Go for the cure, both our dads are fighting this right now too!!
Brian, we live right near MD Anderson in Houston - less than 2 miles away. Please let us know if you need a place to stay or need anything at all next time you come to Houston. I'm friends with Marie DeBrosse Stinneford and was a roomate of Lisa's too for awhile at OSU - you may remember me. Please know we're here for you.
Brian - wishing you a wonderful ride on Sunday!
“Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass; it’s about learning to ride in the rain.” Although we hope you don’t have to literally ride in the rain!
Our prayers go with you. Have a great ride!
In honor of my friend, Dick Draffone.
Have a great ride, Brian!
I'm so sorry to hear about this and I wish you the best!
Sending my support to you and your family
Hi Brian, I have worked with your sister, Lisa, at CHOP for the last 20-some years! Keeping you and all of your family in my prayers. Ricka
Keep fighting the good fight, Brian!
Just happened to read Mom’s Mail, and your guardian angel guided me to your post. what an amazing story. You certainly have touched many souls and are helping many more. I wish you good health and success in your ride. thank you. m Weiland
Enjoy a beautiful ride. Be safe and well.
Hi Brian, thank you for channeling your life's challenge to activism. How empowering!