Richard “Richie” Augustino Gonzales may be only seven years old, but he is a fighter! Since birth, Richie has been fighting minor to severe health issues. He had his first surgery at three weeks old and has had a total of nine surgeries to date, 12 other surgical procedures, more than 260 blood draws and several blood transfusions. Richie has what doctors call a complicated “Multi-System Disorder”. The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota repaired his beautiful heart. The best doctors at UCLA, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and many private specialists have all tried to help Richie, but have deemed him too complicated. Richie is currently being treated at Children’s Hospital Orange County where the doctors are working hard to find the answers to stop or at least slow the progression of diseases and symptoms in his body. Currently living with muscle deterioration, immunity disorders, heart disease, energy deficiency, nerve loss/pain and many more symptoms, Richie’s family remains positive and is determined to fight on.
Richie and his family continue to push forward and pray for a cure and they hope that one-day Richie will be “normal”. They greatly appreciate the support of the Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle and Richie can’t wait to see all those cyclists out there on November 3rd!
Nicole Bays is an amazing wife, mother and friend. In May 2012 Nicole was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive and difficult type of cancer, and she has been battling ever since. After two rounds of chemotherapy, Nicole had a mastectomy in December 2012. In May 2013 Nicole complained of a headache for more than a month, and what doctors initially thought was a bad sinus infection turned out to be four tumors in her brain. Over the next six months four more tumors (a total of eight) appeared in her brain and also one in her cheek showed up. Nicole underwent two rounds of focal point radiation and then full brain radiation while continuing chemotherapy to keep the cancer from spreading in the rest of her body. Unfortunately, the cancer in Nicole’s body is very aggressive and is now in her skin and bones and the largest of the eight brain tumors is still causing major problems. Nicole and her family refuse to give up, and fortunately so do her doctors.
Nicole and her family are so very grateful for the support of the Michael P. Nosco Foundation and are thrilled to have been named one of the 2014 recipients for the 6th Annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride. It is just what they need to fuel their fighting spirit!!!
Update: Nicole Bays passed away shortly after the ride in 2014
Mike Johnson is a family man. He has an amazingly able and supportive wife, Eileen, and three beautiful girls Trust, Honesty and Patience. Mike was diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2014. He was lucky enough to have had symptoms, which helped him catch the cancer before it metastasized. A left hemi-colectomy was performed at UCLA to remove the tumor and fortunately pathology indicated that the cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes, but unfortunately it did grow through the colon wall (T4) and attach to the abdominal wall. This finding together with cancer cells present in the surrounding vascular tissue led to a strong recommendation for chemotherapy to significantly decrease the chance of recurrence. Mike started chemotherapy on August 13, 2014 and it will run for six months. Mike is REALLY looking forward to January 2015!!
Mike is thankful for all of the support he has received from his loving family and amazing friends. The Johnson family is extremely grateful and uplifted to have Mike named as a recipient of the 6th Annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride.
Update: Mike Johnson has been a MNMBR Recipient Ambassador since 2015