By Liz Verley, Staff Writer
While waiting recently for his wife Heidi to receive a chemotherapy treatment for her reoccurring breast cancer, Jay Loven counted people he knew in the Swanville area that had also been impacted by the disease.
When he reached 50 people within a 10- mile radius he stopped and thought, “What can we do?” The thought that came to mind has resulted in organizing Saturday’s (July 7) first annual “Ride 2 Fight” motorcycle/classic car ride
Cancer is a reality that Jay has faced for several years. His mom, Sandee, was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer five years ago and Heidi is a two-time stage three breast cancer survivor with a double mastectomy.
The Lovens are parents to daughter, Lexi, and son, Carter
Jay said, “Heidi and my mom are two of the strongest women I know. They have handled their experience with cancer with such grace.”
Heidi’s first diagnosis was in 2005 and her second came in February. She has just finished chemotherapy treatments and will soon be receiving her radiation schedule. Six to eight months after her final radiation treatment she will undergo constructive surgery.
Heidi, who manages Midsota Surgical Suites which is affiliated with Midsota Plastic Surgeons, said, “This second time around has been much more painful. I have been hospitalized twice and have problems with blood clots. It has been hard. Our daughter Lexi had prom, graduation and her graduation party and I could not do anything. It has been amazing the support we have been given. From the benefit and the people so willing to help us when needed we made it through. It has been a very humbling experience.”
She said, “I love my job. The surgeons I work with have been great. They allow me the time I need to work through this. If I get tired while I am working they allow me to take a rest. They are very understanding.”
Heidi is planning to participate in the “Ride 2 Fight.”
Registration for the ride begins at 11 a.m. The ride will start at noon and leave and return to Red’s Irish Pub in Swanville.
The ride will be 80 to 100 miles long with a rest at Sheila’s Place in Rose City and will be held rain or shine.
There is no fee to ride but a freewill offering will be accepted. Any funds collected will be donated to the American Cancer Society through the Morrison County Relay for Life.
There is no raffle or fundraiser affiliated with the ride. After the ride everyone is invited to stick around and enjoy the annual rides, games and food at the Swanville Mid-Summer Carnival.
Jay said, “If someone wants to ride we do not want them to feel obligated (to donate money). We want everyone to have fun.”
“We obviously would like to have everyone contribute, but the least we want to get out of this day, is continued awareness of this disease and hopefully one person seeking early detection,” he said
Heidi said, “It is so important to have checkups. You can’t take anything for granted. If it happens once it can happen again. I strongly encourage people to get their annual checkups and to pay attention to their bodies.”
“People are afraid of what they will hear, but, if you catch it early enough it is curable,” said Jay.
For more information on the ride, contact Jay at (320) 360-2550.