Pedal the Cause

I'm riding: Pedal Pacer

Team: Hitachi Energy

ID: 47927

Lifetime total: $27,498.10


WHY I RIDE

I am proud to join Pedal the Cause in the fight against cancer again in 2022. Pedal the Cause is more than the region's top cycling event. It's a way of life, a celebration, and a movement fueled by the courage to end cancer. I've been riding since 2013 as I realized what a special organization Pedal the Cause is.

It takes world-class research to create a World Without Cancer. Please help me in this journey by donating to my ride and give with confidence knowing that 100% of your donation will go directly to accelerating cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center and St. Louis Children's Hospital. In the past, my company (initially ABB Inc., then Hitachi ABB Power Grids and now Hitachi Energy) had a foundation that supports events like this. As ABB has sold the Power Grids division to Hitachi, I'm honored that the new company (now Hitachi Energy) will hopefully support our local team again in 2022 to help amplify our impact to this cause.

Just in case you're interested, here are some of the details in my personal fight against cancer. There's a link to a youtube video at the end of the text that helps tell my story.

In the fall of 2009 I had a persistent mole on the top of my right ear that started bleeding and wouldn't heal. A biopsy indicated melanoma, and we knew it was serious. Just before Christmas, I had the melanoma removed from my ear. The pathology on the surrounding tissue and biopsy of three sentinel lymph nodes in my neck came back clear. I had follow-up visits with my oncologist and dermatologist every few months. In January 2010, I was told that I should continue to see the doctors every 6 months. We were grateful and thought we'd dodged the proverbial bullet.

In February 2012, my family started to notice that I was having mental memory lapses and speech hesitations. I was fatigued and quiet - pretty unusual for me. My wonderful wife Barbara decided to take be into the Trauma Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis on Good Friday, 2012. After initial tests were completed that evening, we received the bad news of a tumor in the left side of my brain right in the middle of the speech, motor control and memory areas. Over the course of additional testing the next few days we learned that I also had a sizeable tumor in my adrenal gland above the right kidney, and it had spread into my kidney and through my lymph system to many lymph nodes. To sum things up, it seems that the single little melanoma removed from the top of my right ear back in 2009 had spread after it had been dormant and suddenly cropped back up and had mushroomed into Stage IV metastatic melanoma.

I had an all-day brain surgery (awake craniotomy) on Thursday, April 26th and had my right adrenal gland and kidney removed through an abdominal surgery on May 18. A DVT (blood clot) appeared in my right leg two days before the abdominal surgery. A Greenfield filter was inserted in the inferior vena cava to lower the risk if the clot broke loose allowing the surgery to remove the kidney & adrenal gland the next day. At the time, I did not know that cancer also increases chance of blood clots, thus helping to explain why the DVT appeared. Recovery from the brain surgery turned out to be a breeze. But the abdominal surgery had me down for several months. My family and ABB were most supportive during this terrible time, and the doctors and nurses at Siteman provided fantastic care.

To deal with the spreading metastatic melanoma, systemic treatment with ipilimumab (Yervoy) took place through four doses, three weeks apart, during the summer of 2012. The Yervoy treatment appears to have been very effective in modifying my immune system to attack the melanoma without the need for any chemo drugs or radiation beyond a gamma ray burn of the area around the brain tumor. Follow-up PET, MRI and CAT scans continue to show success to a point that cancer is no longer detectable anywhere! I still deal with smaller issues (like spots beginning to morph), but I view that God and Immunotherapy has allowed me to see things (all 3 kids getting married, meet my grandkids, retire with my wife Barbara and so much more) that would not have been possible if I'd developed melanoma just a few years earlier. This also allowed me to recover and ride in my first Pedal the Cause ride in 2013 and continue each and every year since then.

As you can see, the leading-edge research funded by events like Pedal The Cause has become a bit of a passion for me. I'm praying that out of the box treatment breakthroughs like mine will soon take place to help others dealing with many other types of cancer. Whether you're a rider, spinner, inspired donor, researcher or caregiver, thanks so much for your support!

All my love, Craig

My Story


MY PTC HISTORY

2014
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2019
2020
2021
2022