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Mary Catherine’s Story

Through adversity we grow, our growth maybe in tight rings like the tree that faces a drought, but those trees have the strongest core and will withstand the winds of the hurricane when they ar older.

It all started out when Mary went in for her college cross country phyiscal on July 28. Her doctor felt a mass in her pelvis and sent her to get a CT scan that day. The scan showed what was thought to be a large ovarian cyst. So then she was referred to the University of Minnesota Gynocology department. They also thought it was a cyst and scheduled surgery for August 8. It was supposed to be a 2-3 hour surgery and 2-3 day hospital stay. It turned into a 11 hour surgery which she recieved 7 pints of blood and 2 units of plasma. What they had found was a ganglioneuroblastoma tumor which was roughly 11cm by 11cm though at the time they weren't sure what it was. She was in ICU for a day and recieved 2 more pints of blood post-op. She had 35 staples starting an inch sbove her belly button, down around her belly button and down 6 inches. She was in the hospital for a total of 9 days. During those 9 days we heard bad news then good news. There were various tests and scans donewhile she was there and we left feeling cautiously optimistic. Then on Monday Aug. 21 we went back down for the results of the test. What was found was that the tumor had spread to her bone marrow in her left hip and femur. Also the tumor that was left was cancerous. So now she is starting chemotherapy on Monday Aug. 28 at the University of Minnesota Hospital. She will be there for 3-5 days every month for the next 4-6 months. She will probably have all of the common sypmtoms of chemo - hair loss, nasea, tiredness. Her tumor is rare - .15%. 50% of these tumors are found by the age of 1, another 45% by the age of 10, another 3% by the age of 16. Also only 5% of these tumors are found in the pelvis. Thank you all for all of your support - we love you all.

Latest Journal Update

Great Cycle Challenge

The Great Cycle Challenge was an amazing journey for me.  I ended up raising over $9,000 for Children's Cancer research fund which was the most in MN and second in the Nation.  I found myself crying almost every ride the first week which is something I haven't done probably for two years then after that it was nothing but good.  After about ten days of riding I still had only made one short ride on the tandem, I found myself about a quarter mile from home when I felt a weird ptwang from my rear wheel and sudden kathump kathump. As it turned out I broke s spoke on my rear wheel, something I haven't done in 40 years of riding especially on a two year old wheel.  I could almost hear Mary saying OK Dad you said we were doing this together with the tandem.  So I went on and started riding the tandem solo recording a total of 340 miles on the tandem and 380 miles on my solo.  Nationally the 12,500 riders raised $1,612,625.00.  It really felt good to be doing something again versus just riding a check to raise some money, but to be part of something it was really very satisfying.  I have started planning a challenge for next year, hopefully it will be a challenge Patti and I can do together.
27 people hearted this



Michelle Litke
By Michelle Litke
What you did was simply beautiful....
john & carol giovinco
By john & carol giovinco
CONGRATULATION, on a SUCCESSFUL ride!!!!......You are an AMAZING and WONDERFUL family....GOD BLESS all!!!
Carol & John G.
Juanita Reed-Boniface
By Juanita Reed-Boniface
This was an amazing journey for you and I enjoyed reading your posts!! Will we see you at the State Fair?
erin novak
By erin novak
Congratulations on such a huge accomplishment!!! You are amazing! Love, erin
Laurie Drill-Mellum
Dear Ardie,
You continue to amaze me, on so many levels. Thanks for doing and being exactly what you do and are. You are a gift to the world. Love, Laurie and Mel
Chris Bekemeier
By Chris Bekemeier
Wonderful, Arden! Thinking of you, sending love.
Diana Karels
By Diana Karels
Way to go.