Pedal the Cause

I'm riding: 20 miles

Team: Team Victoria St. Louis

ID: 112661

Lifetime total: $1,850.00

I am riding In Memory of Joan Halenkamp and Victoria Drier.


I'm proud and privileged to be riding in memory, honor, and support of my dear childhood friend, Victoria Drier.

Victoria and I became friends when I transferred to Ladue Middle School in 8th grade where we instantly connected both being two of the tallest girls in our grade :). Our bond grew more tight-knit in high school, we got to attend a few years of college at Mizzou together, and we continued to remain good friends into our young adulthood.

Victoria battled the fight against brain cancer for about 13 years. We were 16 years old when Victoria began to have terrible headaches which led to her getting an MRI that revealed a tumor the size of two golf balls. I'll never forget driving home from a YoungLife event and her breaking the news to me and our closest friends. We cried in the car for what seemed like hours. We were so young, confused, and scared that someone who we loved so dearly could receive such awful and life-changing news.

At that moment, myself, and our friends vowed to always be her champions, and we still are today and will always be.

At 16, Victoria went through a full craniotomy and then had radiation therapy at Siteman Cancer Center. She went on to graduate high school, along with the rest of us girls, but during our freshman year at Mizzou, another tumor emerged in the same place. Once again, we stood by her side as she went through another surgery and more treatment.

Through her battle against cancer, Victoria never gave up and fought the good fight which wouldn't have been made possible without organizations like Pedal the Cause and Siteman Cancer Center advancing cancer research. She received numerous surgeries, went through clinical trials of experimental radiation, chemotherapy, and even received innovative personalized treatment involving a vaccine made from her tumors DNA. She endured all of this through her late teens into her late 20's in endless attempts to remove and treat her tumor and cancer.

Victoria is my inspiration daily and will always be referred to as one of my dearest friends. She IS the definition of strength, courage, and grace. I will always be awestruck of her tenacity to fight the battle she did and for her to not lose her spirit through the tough times.

After so many years and so many interruptions of her adolescence, her educations, and her young adulthood one might have expected Victoria to be bitter, but no. She shined with joy, kindness, and gleamed with a hope of a recovery and brighter future ahead. With that, myself and those who loved her will continue to support her and honor her memory by not giving up on those who are still fighting today.

Please join me to help support cancer research so that we can find a cure for those like Victoria, for your loved ones, and for us to know a world without cancer.

With love and thanks, Joanie