As Joy mentioned in her post: Our Inspiration , we are cycling across the US to honor and remember Warren Thornthwaite, who lived a wonderful life until it was cut short by Glioblastoma Multiform (GBM), a terrible brain cancer.
But Warren wasn’t the only friend or family member who has been struck down prematurely or suffered a debilitating health issue while still in the prime of their lives. To honor those who have lost their battle and to send positive energy to those who are continuing their battles, we will be dedicating portions of our ride to those folks. We’ve tackled some pretty grueling days and we have plenty more ahead of us. Over the next weeks and months we’ll periodically dedicate rides to these folks. Thanks to our friend, Naomi Dushay for inspiring this idea.
We start these dedications retroactively (for the climb up the Sierras which started on Tuesday and which we expect to finish Monday morning) with introducing you to Elizabeth Plageman and her husband, Michael Olson. They are a charming couple in their late thirties who should be focused on starting a family but are instead focused on Elizabeth’s ongoing battle against cancer. Only a few months ago they went from a couple who enjoyed drinking coffee and strolling along the Santa Cruz beach to a couple facing the most personally challenging of situations. Since late Fall Elizabeth has undergone chemotherapy sessions, a series of very difficult hospital stays, a few operations, and faces at least one more operation on the near horizon. On top of all these personal health issues, Elizabeth lost her father to cancer a few weeks ago. When she wasn’t hospitalized herself, Michael would drive her from Santa Cruz to Oakland to visit her hospitalized father.
I am astounded at the beauty that she was able to create while throwing up in a bucket. She is a talented woman beyond my reckoning. I am thrilled to have her in my life.
(Note that all image rights are reserved by the creator and any other legalese that will keep Elizabeth from suing me for including an image of her artwork in a post.)