Sep 5, 2011

Auctions (benefiting LIVESTRONG)

Just a few days left to bid on rare LIVESTRONG items, including a Lance Armstrong signed US Postal Service jersey and a signed LIVESTRONG cap, rare jerseys (including LIVESTRONG/ Ride for the Roses jerseys), TREK water bottles, Team LIVESTRONG shirts, a LIVESTRONG yellow band car magnet, stickers, etc.

If you're in the US, you can "pay" via a tax-deductible (to the extent allowed by law) donation to my LIVESTRONG Challenge fundraising page. To bid, please visit

in the UK=>

in the US=>


Feb 11, 2011

In Loving Memory of Courtney Clifford

In loving memory of our Court (Courtney Clifford, 1982-2011)

"Love is stronger than death even though it can't stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can't separate people from love. It can't take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death."


Cancer stole another beautiful soul and a strong & tireless cancer advocate: Rest in peace, Courtney! We'll miss you tons... your soul & inspiration will live on!!!

Comforting thoughts & prayers for Courtney's family & friends and everyone whose lives got changed for the better just because they've met Courtney!
I met Court at the LIVESTRONG summit in Columbus, Ohio, and she sure changed my life just by the way she looked at life, the way she made everyone feel better (even in tough times), and the way she faced her cancer battle head-on!

The following blog post from my friend Crissy will provide comfort & wonderful memories to those who've met Courtney (and it will probably make you smile or laugh out loud while reading). If you haven't met Court, you'll get a pretty good idea about her awesomeness =>

If you want to help honor Courtney's life + support LIVESTRONG, please consider a donation in her memory/honor and I will match it ( ... such a small and insignificant way to honor her life, but all I can do from the other side of the pond.

Jan 25, 2011

Silent Auction Round 2

There're still 6 days left to bid on a Chris Carmichael signed "28" poster and the Team RadioShack musette , and in honor of World Cancer Day (Febuary 4th), I just uploaded the 2nd silent auction (benefiting LIVESTRONG 100%).
This silent auction is for all of the following items and the package includes (detailed pictures of the items are posted below):
  • 1 Team LIVESTRONG Nike dri-fit hat (distributed to members of the 2010 Team LIVESTRONG who raised at least $500)
  • 1 Team LIVESTRONG shirt, sized either XL or S (winning bidder can chose between those 2 sizes)
  • 1 LIVESTRONG bandana
  • 1 Team LIVESTRONG sticker
  • 3 pins (I'm a survivor, Choose Hope & Cancer sucks)
The current highest bid on the Team LIVESTRONG package is € 18 (approx. $ 24.50) - quite the bargain if you remember that the cap has been awarded only to team members who raised at least $500 :-)

To bid, either leave a comment on this blog or message me on Facebook or Twitter. No additional costs => I'll pay for registered shipping.
If you're in the US, your donation to LIVESTRONG via my fundraising page is a tax-deductable donation (to the extent allowed by law). Thank you for considering a donation and/or bid. Winning bidder will be announced on March 1st, 2011.

Detailed pictures:
Team LIVESTRONG cap (front and back):

Team LIVESTRONG Shirt (front and back; winner can chose between a size XL or a size S):

LIVESTRONG Bandana (plus 3 pins + 1 Team LIVESTRONG sticker):

Jan 18, 2011

It’s all in how you FIGHT (in memory of another beautiful soul lost to kidney cancer)

Reading Brock Yetso's post of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults , one sentence really stuck with me: "It’s all in how you FIGHT that really counts!"

If that's the way we measure their fight, they all were winners: they fought back with tons of determination for as long as they could. They were persistent and lived gracefully with no regrets. They inspired the people around them, and passed on values we are trying to install in our everyday life.
"Cancer is a ruthless, uninvited, deceitful, rude, and cheating opponent but it is an opponent that can be beat over time. It doesn’t follow any rules and it will continue to invade all of our lives. It doesn’t care who you are, who you love or what you have to live for – it cheats and steals until it feels it has been victorious." (Brock Yetso)
I am pretty sure that everyone can relate to that passage, even more so when you lost a loved one to cancer. But just like Brock, I don't think cancer really is victorious. We lost way too many friends and loved ones to cancer, but without those people/their fights/their legacies/their sufferings/their deaths, we wouldn't be as determined to fight back as we are today. We wouldn't hate cancer as much as we do. We wouldn't be as inspired as we are because of them.

It hurts like hell to lose someone to cancer. But we need to turn this hate into something productive to honor their lives and legacies. Since they are no longer physically able to fight back, we need to step in and fight back for them.

There will be times when it seems we are still losing, there will be times of hope, there will be times when nothing seems to go forward. Yet, "we need to be able to be proud of the performance we gave and be able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move on to the next challenge."

In memory and in honor of all our cancer angels, I will ride the 2011 Philly LIVESTRONG Challenge in August. I will wear the names of cancer angels (and warriors), written on cancer ribbons, on my jersey to honor their fight, celebrate the impact they still have on the fight against cancer and thank them for their continuing inspiration.

If you can, please consider a small donation to my fundraising page ( in honor, support or memory of someone who inspired you in this global cancer fight. Donations to LIVESTRONG are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law in the U.S. and I'll send you a personal thank you note after the Challenge weekend!

Dec 26, 2010

"Give this Christmas away!"

"You have the power to give someone hope far beyond their wildest dreams [...] If there’s love in your heart don’t let it stay there [...] your life will be changed by the gifts you receive when you give this Christmas away![...]It’s doing what love does even when no one’s watching you."

This Christmas I was fortunate enough to experience this first hand with the help of four of my lovely Twisters... it made my holidays a Christmas to remember & cherish! Thanks to Marie for sharing this video!

Dec 22, 2010

Ride with Larry "If you love life - you'll fight for it"

Sometimes I have a hard time getting motivated to head out for a bike ride... it's never because of bad weather (let's face it: if you're living in the northwestern part of Germany, you learn early on in life that there's no bad weather, there's only wrong clothing), but sometimes my shoulder problems and/or spine injury make it difficult to ride.

Today, I stumbled upon a short video that promotes a feature length documentation about Larry Smith from Vermillion, South Dakota. Here's what the website says about Larry:

, an avid cyclist and beloved small-town baker will bike across South Dakota with the support of his family and community to show the power of keeping your body active and mind positive, proving that the best cure is living life to its fullest."

"The film follows Larry during his quest to bike across his state, pushing his limits and expanding the boundary of possibilities for those with Parkinson's. With this bike ride and documentary film, we hope to raise awareness and de-stigmatize Parkinson's disease while inspiring all those diagnosed, their family, friends, and caretakers." (from:

He certainly managed to inspire me and thinking about Larry will help me the next time I'm getting on my bike... despite the challenges and pain!

Ride with Larry (trailer) from Ride with Larry on Vimeo.

Dec 19, 2010

Cancer doesn't discriminate...

Cancer doesn't discriminate:
  • it attacked the body of a young woman in highschool, who had to fight for her life and worry about insurance, instead of worrying about "teen" issues,
  • it killed a two-year-old boy, who'll never get the chance to experience all that life has to offer,
  • it attacked the body of a young mom, who, instead of enjoying the first months with her newborn baby, had to go through chemo and radiation, worrying about work, financial challenges, and whether or not she'd be there long enough to take care of her baby girl,
  • it killed a beautiful socialite & charity lady who was battling skin cancer for a 2nd time,
  • it continues to attack friends who are facing ongoing cancer scares, biopsies, excisional surgery & cancer treatments,
  • it killed several relatives and loved ones,
  • it made my Soul Sister an extremely competent and caring co-survivor by attacking and killing her loved ones,
  • it attacked a young man who should be able to concentrate on getting his doctorate degree, instead of spending weeks on end at the hospital and getting way too educated in everything cancer-related,
  • it tries (and continuously fails) to get the best of a friend who's one of the bravest person I've ever met, and who deserves to concentrate on her recovery and education without having to worry about any more cancer scares,
  • cancer attacked 2 year old Finn, who, despite going through radiation, surgery & chemo and losing one of his kidneys in the process, is still alive and thriving,
  • it will kill two good friends in the next weeks or months, it will leave children without their fathers/mothers. It will leave loving partners without their soul mates,
  • it might attack/kill a friend of yours, a colleague, a relative, a role-model.
Cancer doesn't care about your sex, race, religion, age or sexual orientation!
Cancer doesn't care if you're in school, unemployed, earn minimum wage or have a well-paid job!
Cancer doesn't care if you're suffering from a "good" cancer ("just" skin cancer or "just" thyroid cancer) or a cancer type that is difficult to treat. It will prove to you that there's nothing "just" about any type of cancer!

If that's not reason enough to get you involved in the fight against cancer, I assume nothing will. Everyone can make a difference and spread hope to the 28 Million around the globe who are living with cancer right now. If you'd like to support my LIVESTRONG fundraising, please message me, and I'll let you know how you can donate (every cent adds up, so don't be shy to donate a smaller amount).

Sep 7, 2010

Being a "domestique" for Team LIVESTRONG

Last year, my LIVESTRONG fundraising came along like a dream: I found a potential sponsor, who pledged a lot of money if we ever made it to the $5,000 level, lots of friends and friends-of-friends stepped in (as did said sponsor) and together we raised almost $4500 for LIVESTRONG! In cycling terms, I was part of a breakaway group who almost made it to a stage win.

This year, it's a lot tougher on different levels, so you might call me a "domestique" (for those non-cyclists of you, it's a cyclist who works for the benefit of the team, not for his own aspirations;-)

Once again, cancer is bothering some of my friends/loved ones, which makes the commitment even more personal and thus emotional for me. Secondly, I will be back on the bike (some call it my comeback season, which I absolutely love... feels like I were a pro cyclist ;-) for the Austin Challenge in October after almost 2 years of spine and shoulder issues. Never mind too many doctor visits... I WILL be riding the 45 miles and I WILL cross the finish line to receive my yellow rose! The road has become the journey more than ever. Getting to Austin was and will be a challenge.

I couldn't have made it this far without the help and support of good friends, who were kind enough to support my fundraising and/or who continue to cheer me up whenever I need a good laugh.

I couldn't have made it past the $1000 fundraising mark without people who have been pestered by cancer and who believe in my "comeback ride". I'll ride the Austin Challenge in honor/support/memory of a long list of friends and their cancer heroes, just because I can, while others cannot.

This year, it's becoming very clear that sometimes it's not about trying to raise $5,000 for a very worthy cause (although I wished I'd get there ;-). It's not about an ego to reach a certain fundraising level! I am and always have been a team player. I'm a member of a team of FANTASTIC fundraisers, some of whom will make the "Ride for the Roses" level again this year.

So for me, this year will be about riding because others can't, thriving after a long period of pain, making it to an AMAZING weekend and meeting LIVESTRONG friends (both old and new ones). It'll be about a bike ride... a 5k walk... and most of all about cheering for others, celebrating survivors, encouraging warriors and remembering angels!

I might not be a big fundraising success-story this year, but I'm still proud of what I achieved... and very humbled to have friends who support me. You guys are the best!!!!!

With 28 Millions around the globe fighting cancer right now, we need to remember that it can be YOUR personal fight in the blink of an eye!

Cancer does not discriminate against age, race, social class, income, education, gender, or sexual orientation. That's why I'll continue to ride, walk, raise money and fight with the attitude of a true
domestique ... supporting Team LIVESTRONG so that others won't have to fight this cancer beast.

Thanks for reading!

Jul 10, 2010

Introducing HOPE (finally: the start of my comeback season)

Today has been a very special day for me, and I admit I got a bit teary-eyed along the way. This is why:

After a long hiatus from cycling (due to some injuries, including a spine injury, and some health problems), today marks the start of my "comeback season" that will hopefully result in me taking part in this year's Austin LIVESTRONG Challenge in October.

If it weren't for an amazing group of friends and complete strangers, who believed in random acts of kindness to help me out, I would be training on a city bike or in the gym. But because of this group of people, I get to ride on my beautiful bike HOPE :

Whenever times get tough or the road seems to be a bit too challenging, knowing I received this bike because of their tremendous generosity, keeps me motivated and inspired.

A very big thank you:
  • Scott Joy
  • Leslie Hughes
  • Brenda Sherer
  • John Conley
  • Dan Manco
  • Annemieke
  • last, but definitely not least: the awesome cancer crushers Jamie Lindsay and CARRIE Courtney (and whoever might have been involved behind the scenes ;-)

Today also showed me that whatever challenges I have to face, I'm not alone in this fight and there are numerous people who aren't as lucky as I am. So, I decided to dedicate my bike rides to people who are an inspiration to those involved in the GLOBAL fight against cancer and who might not be able to ride themselves. I'll start with my soul sister Kate's dad and grandma, as well as my friend Jenny, who's crushing brain cancer right about now!

I'm riding for them, but as you can see, there's still plenty of room on my bike, so if you'd like me to include names of loved ones who you'd like to honor/support/remember, let me know and I'll add them. A donation to my LIVESTRONG fundraising page ( would be very much appreciated.
For a $10 donation I'll send you a card with the bike decal from the Austin Challenge in October.

Thanks again for all your support and kind words these past couple of years. It's much appreciated!