When you become a recipient, you and your family become forever members of the Nosco community. We’ve been fortunate to support these amazing recipients over the years.
- Recipients 2021
- Recipients 2020
- Recipients 2019
- Recipients 2018
- Recipients 2017
- Recipients 2016
- Recipients 2015
- Recipients 2014
- Recipients 2013
In 2017, Denise Burke was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer which occurs primarily in the extremities of the arms or legs. Doctors felt the best way to beat this was to amputate her lower leg, undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Denise being the fighter she is, began her battle. Her dedication to overcome her cancer diagnosis has led to financial hardship. She had quit her job and has been on disability since last summer. Denise lives in Newbury Park with her three teenage children. As of 8/18/18, her last scan showed 20 new nodules throughout her lungs as well as the growth of 2 nodules they had been monitoring. Synovial sarcoma loves to spread to the lungs so they are very concerned about possible metastasis. Her doctor denied her release to go back to work.
John Van Mannekes
ALS, John was diagnosed with ALS almost three years ago. He has progressed from using a walker to scooter and now power wheel chair. He has also lost his voice and communicates using an eye gaze computer. His ability to swallow is almost completely gone and he mostly receives his nutrition via feeding tube. John is a retired, well respected and professional Fire Captain for the Ventura City Fire Department. He currently lives with his wife and two sons in Ventura.
Stage 4 metastatic Kidney. Sean is a person who has been a ferocious fundraiser and motivator in the past. Sean has been a professional announcer in the cycling world and could use the help of this wonderful community. He lives with his family and a service dog in Auburn California. Insurance is not enough to carry the financial load.
Osteosarcoma, which has recurred 8 times over a 10 year period. Emma was our very first recipient (Andreas Knickman), more than 10 years ago. She is a shining example of perseverance and resiliency.
Fractured C7 and T1, paralyzed from the chest down, vehicle accident in Newbury Park. He is a father, husband and lives here in Newbury Park. This is from Pat’s brother shortly after the accident (August 2019) “Pat and his wife Patty and two children, Johnny and Kelly, have been showered with your prayers and offers of help which is getting them through this tragic event. God has a plan for Pat which is why we are celebrating that he is still with us, has no major head injuries and is able to move his arms. The road to recovery for Pat, Patty and the family will be long. He remains in the ICU this week and will be hospitalized for the next several weeks before he begins rehabilitation efforts.” [Update: Pat came home on Friday 10/4 and is continuing to heal thanks to the support of family and friends.]
Stage 4 Breast cancer w/bone metastases in spine. Robbin is a widow of 10 plus years and sole provider for her family. After aggressive back surgery and ongoing treatment she currently has physical limitations and has not been able to return to driving yet. Robbin will continue to be treated for metastatic breast cancer for the rest of her life requiring expensive treatments medications and possible future procures or surgeries. Robbin has a son in college and another son in high school.
Stage 4 Colon cancer. I would love to take the burden off my husband for a bit; he’s been working so hard and long hours extra days to make sure the bills are paid. The family has had to make sacrifices for my treatment and plans activities have had to be cancelled. Our extra funds go to my treatment and both medical and holistic and that isn’t cheap. Anita’s husband Rob, owns “Stotts Bike Shop” in Burbank and could really use the cycling communities support.
On 12/31/15, at age 40, Aaron Robinson was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme, one of the most aggressive forms of Brain Cancer. In January 2016, Aaron had an Open Awake Craniotomy for his tumor resection surgery and did treatments at Hope4Cancer. Aaron has continued to do his home treatments, but has been experiencing increasing neurological symptoms and exhaustion from high and low grade tumor regrowth. Aaron will have his 2nd surgery October 10 – his biggest procedure yet – and then would like to follow it up with additional treatments at Hope4Cancer. Doctors at UCLA are estimating a 6 week recovery from the surgery, and then Aaron would like to go back to Hope4Cancer for 3 weeks. The costs of his medical care while closing their business are very expensive and they very much appreciate the financial help. They appreciate your prayers for his healing and wisdom. He is a wonderful husband to Jennifer and father of 2. Their family lives, runs their small business, and goes to school in Newbury Park. Their son, Jonah, a recent NPHS Grad, was on the Mountain Bike team and is applying to serve in the U.S. Army. Their daughter, Kayla, a freshman at NPHS, plays Volleyball on the JV team.
Brianna was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that metastasized to her spine. It broke her spine in half and had literally disintegrated her vertebrae which caused her the most horrific pain she has ever endured & she has suffered the most agonizing & excruciating torment no one person should ever have to go through having had 11 brutal surgeries, 20 weeks of chemo, & months of radiation all in less than 5 years. The cancer completely constricted & was about to sever her spinal cord which caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down & confined to a wheelchair. She pushed herself through all of this physical & emotional pain in intense physical therapy sessions just to help her cope with her limitations as she had to relearn how to walk, dress herself, and move again. This illness has impacted her ability to work and has destroyed her career & dreams. To make everything in her life even more devastating this disease, being diagnosed at such a young age, has also effected her ability to have children. Now Brianna and her husband will never be able to have their own family or know what that feels like. She and her husband John live in Studio City with Brianna’s service dog.
Dean (DJ) Bennett
Dean “DJ” Bennett will be 41 yrs old on 11/6 of this year. He has an amazing wife and caregiver and they have 3 children, their oldest son, Cris – 20 yrs old is away at college in Texas, their daughter Abby – 8 yrs old and their youngest son, Jax – 6 yrs old. DJ adores his kids, he loves watching football and documentaries with them. He is always full of sunshine and makes friends where ever he goes. DJ can talk with someone he just met and it’s like they have known each other for years. On July 22, DJ was diagnosed with Stage III Nodular Melanoma which has now progressed to Stage IV Nodular Melanoma with Metastases. He has had a lot of medical issues to deal with in the past several years but this diagnosis has really been life changing. He is not himself but we are positive and faithful in the Lord that DJ will come through this and continue to help others who find themselves with this same life changing disease.
Jen has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Uterine Cancer. She has undergone 2 surgeries, including genetic testing for more insight into her disease. Jen works for Giant Bicycle who has been a huge supporter of the Mike Nosco Memorial Ride. With the support of her partner and beloved pup, Jen hopes to bring awareness to Uterine Cancer and her journey.
In 2017, Denise Burke was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer which occurs primarily in the extremities of the arms or legs. Doctors felt the best way to beat this was to amputate her leg, undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Denise being the fighter she is, began her battle. Her dedication to overcome her cancer diagnosis has led to financial hardship. She had quit her job and has been on disability since last summer. Denise lives in Newbury Park with her three teenage children. As of 8/18/18, her last scan showed 20 new nodules throughout her lungs as well as the growth of 2 nodules they had been monitoring. Synovial sarcoma loves to spread to the lungs so they are very concerned about possible metastasis. Her doctor denied her release to go back to work.
A longtime resident of Thousand Oaks, Niall was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrigs disease) in 2015. ALS forced Niall to retire in 2015. Their home of 22 years is not ADA accessible as of yet. They recently remodeled the bathroom, so Niall can walk into the shower. They are in need of a stair chair and mobility van. They do have a smaller travel chair but will be needing the larger power wheelchair as he progresses. Niall is using his voice to bring awareness to this disease to help raise funds for ALS research and services in the community. Health insurance has increased, savings is depleting and expenses are increasing.
“Cowboy Steve” was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Prostate Cancer in July of 2018. This recent diagnosis and fearful prognosis require multiple hormone and Chemotherapies, with radiation and immunotherapy being likely other future, albeit costly, treatments. His goal is to seek financial assistance until he can sign up for a certified health plan through Covered California this December to begin coverage in 2109. He has been an avid cyclist for over 40 years – including road, mountain and track cycling. He is an active, positive and well-loved 57-year-old man who also enjoys skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, playing guitar but mostly, bringing great people together. He is one of kind and a true friend to many…so goes the expression, “A Friend of Cowboy Steve is a Friend of Mine”.
Troy has been battling Central Cord Syndrome and Parkinson Disease. Central Cord Syndrome is the most common form of incomplete spinal cord injury characterized by impairment in the arms and hands and to a lesser extent in the legs. The brain’s ability to send and receive signals to and from parts of the body below the site of injury is greatly reduced but not entirely blocked. Parkinson’s Disease-A progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Being a recipient is providing Troy with hope to partake in a more extensive therapy and allow him to make necessary modifications to his home. Troy has spent his life in service, working in law enforcement for over 25 years throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, as well as being a great influence on the bike community in regard to training and safety. Troy spent a significant amount of his career teaching thousands of officers bike safety and techniques for patrol, as well as designing the primary patrol bike used by dozens of police departments nationwide.
Jayden was diagnosed with kidney failure and an autoimmune disease. The diagnosis has been debilitating. She has spent 40 days at Children’s hospital and needs chemotherapy to fight the illness. One year after chemotherapy she will need a kidney transplant. The family is grateful to be a recipient for this years ride.
Scotty was diagnosed with stage 1, 2 Classic Hodgkin Lymphoma in July. After several months of dealing with symptoms that were originally misdiagnosed as a heart condition, they found a grapefruit-sized tumor in his chest cavity, compressing his heart and lungs. Unfortunately, due to the delay, it had a chance to root and wear him down. However, he’s confident it will not get worse. Because of the placement, the goal is to shrink the tumor, rather than have it removed. He and his wife, Elisabeth, have been very busy the past few months learning all about the disease and not only how to treat it, but heal from it, while still managing their lives, her work, and raising his 11-year-old daughter. Scotty’s daughter, Sophia, knows about her Daddy’s illness and has been very sweet and supportive, although it’s been quite a challenge for her to adjust. She still struggles with fully comprehending why he can’t come run around and play as much, or why he’s resting so much more. That all said, he’s just finished coaching her basketball season, which was a blast, but pretty exhausting! Elisabeth and Scotty are confident he will heal this thing, but in the meantime, he has been unable to work during this process so they are extremely grateful for him to be included as a recipient for this years ride!
Leslie suffers from a rare autoimmune disease called Relapsing Polychondritis. Relapsing Polychondritis is a rare, debilitating, and often fatal autoimmune disease. It causes the patient’s own body to attack and destroy the cartilage, collagen, and proteoglycan-rich tissue. This includes – but is not limited to – the ears, nose, joints, tendons, upper and low airways, heart and valves, veins, eyes, and kidneys. The destruction leads to life-threatening manifestations such as sudden airway collapse or valvular regurgitation. It is a complex, incurable, little understood, and very painful illness. Leslie is a compassionate, kind, and incredibly giving person—but she is also a smart, witty, personable, creative individual, and an outstanding mom. She is in constant pain. As well as being challenged with ulcerative colitis, bouts of scleritis (severe inflammation of the eye that can lead to blindness), and acute kidney failure, she has extremely painful joints throughout her body. An area of concern is the damage the disease has done to the structure of her spine. If the scoliosis continues to worsen at the rate it has been, she will be in a wheelchair soon, and it will eventually affect her heart and lung function. Her daughter (age 25) is struggling financially to support the both of them by working as much as she can each day.
Denise Burke is a loving single mother to her three beautiful children Garret, Taylor and Austin. She resides in Newbury Park with her family and is a Newbury Park High School graduate. Denise works as a social worker, but has been unable to work since she was diagnosed earlier this year with a very rare cancer, called Synovial Sarcoma, in her foot. This unexpected diagnosis has turned Denise and her family’s lives upside down. In July, she had a port inserted on the right side of her chest and started inpatient chemotherapy treatment consisting of five days, six hours per. Denise then had a three-week break to get strong again before her next five day round of treatment in August. Denise’s doctors are recommending an amputation below her knee after she completes her chemotherapy treatments. While going through the chemotherapy treatments, Denise is also doing physical therapy to learn how to use crutches in order to be strong in those skills after the amputation. Following the amputation, she will receive additional physical therapy to get use to balancing and walking on her new prosthetic leg. Denise will continue to endure her treatments and eventual amputation with strength and grace, and support from her family, friends and the Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride community.
*Update: Denise Burke is on her way to her recovery. Your donation gave her the strength to be brave through the surgery to amputate a portion of her leg in order to get rid of her rare cancer. She is a strong person and is walking again with her new prosthetic. Denise sets a great example to live life to the fullest and overcome very tough challenges in life.
John Van Mannekes
John Van Mannekes is a strong and caring husband, father and firefighter. John was a Fire Captain with the Ventura City Fire Department. He lives in Ventura, California with his wife who works as a job share teacher and two high school age sons. John was an active member of the cycling community for many years. Last year, John was diagnosed with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He was a 2016 Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride recipient and in this past year, the family has had to sell their home and move to a place where John can use his mobility equipment. He has progressed into a power wheelchair and uses a mobility van to get around. John was on sick leave this past year, but is no longer employed as of July 2017 due to his debilitating illness.
*Update: John and family are currently seeking alternative treatment and are keeping spirits up.
Gerhard Gross is married to his wife, Kris and has a new baby boy. The young family recently bought a home in Vista, California. Gerhard has been diagnosed with Stage IV Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (signet ring), the second leading cause of cancer death (behind lung cancer). Both Gerhard and Kris are working hard, caring for their young son and trying to cope with this devastating diagnosis. The couple will also need to be vigilant for their son, who has a 50/50 chance of carrying the same CDH1 gene mutation as his dad. People with this gene have an 80 percent likelihood of developing stomach cancer at the average age of 38. Gerhard will rely on the strength of his friends and family during this difficult time.
*Update: Gerhard is currently receiving treatment at Cedars-Sinai hospital.
Sam Audenino is a 15-yr-old Sophomore at Newbury Park High. He is an avid mountain biker and has been riding the NP trails and racing downhill for several years, with dreams of turning pro after high school. On July 15, Sam was mountain biking with friends at Big Bear when he suffered a devastating crash. He was airlifted to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to repair his broken back and remove bone fragments that were pressing into his spinal cord. The damage to his spinal cord was significant, leaving Sam paralyzed from the waist down.
Sam is a fighter and is determined that he will walk and ride again. He is working hard at rehab to make that happen and has maintained an extremely positive attitude. Sam faces a long road ahead and a lot of hard work, but he’s ready and willing to give it everything he’s got. He won’t take no for an answer!
*Update: Sam is making strides to ride again and his spirits are up. He’s tried a limited movement apparatus with some encouraging results. He is currently waiting for a custom hand-cycle.
In memory of Howard Levy…
Howard Levy was a loving husband, father and a cycling enthusiast. He was an active member of the Conejo Valley cycling community as a racer and as an ambassador for the sport of cycling. He was a fun loving guy with a playful spirit and is widely respected in this community. Howard has ridden in nearly every Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride, including the 2015 ride shortly before he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Howard had a large tumor removed from his femur in his right thigh and had his femur reconstructed. Following surgery, he underwent chemotherapy and radiation. Unfortunately, Howard’s cancer metastasized to his lungs and he lost his battle with cancer in August 2016.
Being named a recipient for the 8th annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride has given the Levy family and the cycling community an awesome opportunity to honor Howard and also honor the sport that he was passionate about.
George Golden is a gracious, caring and hard-working father and friend. George and his family have suffered tremendous loss over the past few years. After losing his daughter-in-law in a tragic accident in 2014, George’s son, Jonathan, lost his life while serving his country in Afghanistan. Throughout these past few years George and his family have stood strong and together, and continue to do so now in the face of George’s recent diagnosis of stage IV non-small cell lung cancer that has metastasized to his brain and bones.
George and his family are humbled to be named as a recipient for the 8th annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride.
Update: George Golden passed away December 2016
Caitlin Meaney is a young, beautiful and vivacious daughter, sister and friend. Caitlin was recently diagnosed with a right humeral osteosarcoma; a tumor in her right arm. Osteosarcoma is a form of bone cancer that is prevalent in children and young adults. Caitlin is currently undergoing chemotherapy and will have to be homeschooled to keep up her studies as she is aggressively fighting this cancer.
Caitlin and her family greatly appreciate being named a recipient for the 8th annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride.
Jennifer (Sam) Gros
Jennifer (Sam) Gros is a vibrant, strong and independent young woman. She is an avid athlete, and has completed the famous Alcatraz Swim twice. She has also competed in more than thirty. Jennifer was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer and is fighting hard with an aggressive course of chemotherapy. Jennifer has been forced to put her career helping others as a physician’s assistant on hold so that she can focus all of her energy on her own fight against breast cancer.
Jennifer is very honored to be named a recipient for the 8th annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride.
John Van Mannekes
John Van Mannekes is a strong and caring husband, father and firefighter. As a Fire Captain with the Ventura City Fire Department, John has helped save many lives. John is currently on leave from his job with the fire department due to a yet to be diagnosed neuromuscular condition; doctors are working to rule out ALS. (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease). While on leave, John was in a head-on traffic accident when another driver swerved into John’s lane. John sustained additional injuries, including a broken sternum, multiple fractures in his finger and many bruises and abrasions. John’s wife and two high school age sons are accustomed to seeing John physically and mentally strong; they stand together to fight the unknown neuromuscular condition and recent injuries that are taking their toll on John’s body.
John and his family are humbled and honored to be named a recipient for the 8th annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride.
Velette Webb is an Air Force veteran and an incredibly strong woman. Velette was in an MTB accident while competing in last year’s Leadville 100. She suffered a concussion, six broken ribs, a broken collarbone, and a broken back. Velette had just started her cycling career when she was in this tragic accident and was left paralyzed. Velette is not one to give up on her dreams; she is determined to race in wheelchair marathons and hand cycle races, including the Paralympics. Go Velette!
Velette is greatly honored by being named a recipient for the 8th annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride.
Cindy Stoutenborough is an amazing, strong and talented wife, mother and friend. Cindy recently was diagnosed with parotid (salivary) gland cancer. With our support we could hopefully displace the fear and uncertainty with Hope and Courage! Her family has been long time supporters of the Nosco ride!
Diana Rojo, is married to a long time friend and CRPD employee, Ruben Rojo. She is dealing with Lung Cancer and is currently on Hospice. Diana and Ruben have been trying quietly to deal with this and now is the time they both could use our help. You would recognize Ruben, as he has helped coordinate the rides start/finish at both Dos Vientos Community Park and Borchard Park. He is usually the first to arrive and the last to leave on November 3rd. Please keep him and Diana in your thoughts and prayers!
Update: Diana Rojo passed away December 2016
Joseph Jordan Dobson
At just 16 years old, Joseph “Jordan” Dobson has had to endure the horrifying effects of cancer for more than a decade. Eleven years ago, he watched his mother, Nana, diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, and his then 3-year old brother, Matthew, diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, simultaneously undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments. It was a devastating loss for the family when Nana passed away shortly after Matthew’s cancer was considered cured (he is currently in remission). Along with their father, Joe, the boys carried on with their lives; thriving in school and enjoying sports.
In September 2014, the unexpected occurred…Jordan, a sophomore at Rio Mesa High School and a cross-country team member collapsed and suffered a full body seizure during a practice run. Good Samaritans stopped to assist him and he was taken to St. John’s Regional Medical Center where a scan was performed, revealing a mass on his brain. He was immediately flown to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) where a biopsy confirmed a malignant brain tumor, grade III anaplastic astrocytoma. As the cancer was prevalent, it was immediately apparent that surgery and/or radiation were not viable treatment options.
Shortly after his release from CHLA, Jordan began a regimen of chemotherapy, a combination of Temodar and Avastin, at the CHLA satellite site located in the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC). For several months, the chemo kept the tumor stable, but Jordan’s health began to slowly deteriorate from the toxicity of the drugs. He had already suffered an additional major seizure that led to hospitalization and several seizure-like episodes (flashes of light in his eyes) resulting in migraines and peripheral vision loss. His oncologist recommended a new course of action – a clinical trial rarely open to anyone under the age of 18. The trial drug, Keytruda, proven successful in fighting other forms of cancer, was administered to Jordan two times over a six week period. Besides lethargy, he did not experience any side effects. Unfortunately, hope for the success of the drug to shrink the tumor was short-lived. An MRI revealed that the tumor had grown. The clinical trial was ended.
Although treatment options are extremely limited right now, Jordan and his family remain optimistic that a successful treatment will become available soon. They recently visited with doctors at the City of Hope and are awaiting approval to use the OptuneTM system, which uses transducer arrays placed on the scalp to send electric fields into the brain to help slow or stop recurrent cancer cells from dividing. There is much hope that these Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields), along with Temodar, will be successful in extending Jordan’s life.
In the meantime, Jordan remains mostly at home; he is uncomfortable being in other surroundings because of his progressive peripheral vision loss. Although he misses attending school and participating in various sports, spending time with friends, playing guitar, and computing/gaming help to curtail his boredom. Jordan’s wit and sense of humor (including a large dose of sarcasm!) help to lighten the mood. He is a strong young man, overtly protective of his brother, mindful of his manners, confident in his abilities, and aware of his circumstances.
It was confirmed through testing of the TP53 gene, that the Dobson family is one of approximately 500 families worldwide to have Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), a rare cancer predisposition hereditary disorder characterized as autosomal dominant. It is also known as the sarcoma, breast, leukemia and adrenal gland (SBLA) syndrome. LFS-related cancers often occur in childhood or young adulthood and survivors have an increased risk for multiple primary cancers. Regardless of this actuality, Jordan is determined to beat his cancer. Through the continuing support of his family, friends, doctors, and the community, he finds strength and encouragement.
Jordan is so grateful and honored to be one of the recipients of the 2015 7th annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride. He hopes to make a personal appearance during the November 3rd event, and he wishes all of the participants a healthy and safe journey.
Update: On June 28, Jordan Dobson passed away at home in his sleep, family and friends were by his side.
Lori Romig is a wife, a mother and a fierce fighter! In 2001, immediately following the birth of her daughter, Tatiana, Lori was diagnosed with esthesioneuroblastoma – a very rare form of tumor that starts in the olfactory nerves and runs right up into the brain. Since 2001, she has not gone more than 18 months without a recurrence. Lori has endured countless radiation treatments, multiple rounds of chemotherapy and most recently a clinical trial with two biologics, but she had to stop the trial this past January when she had a bout of meningitis. To date, Lori has had six craniotomies, the most recent on August 3, 2015, to put in a shunt to relieve the pressure on her brain due to hydrocephalous. She has had ongoing seizures for years, but they are for the most part controlled by medication. Communication and language seem to be the most impacted by both the seizures and the tumors.
The negative impacts of this fight have been many, but Lori and her family try not to focus on the negatives. The hardest part has been that Lori’s daughter, Tatiana, has been a enduring her mom’s battle her entire life. When Tatiana was younger, Lori and her husband, Tim, tried to keep it from her, but when they finally told their daughter what her mom was going through, it was brutal. Tim said, “having my eight year old look at me and ask ‘is mommy going to die’ was very hard, and the sad truth is, we cannot say no. We can only tell her we don’t know, we are doing what we can.”
This on-going journey has taught the Romig family many things, they feel that they are better, stronger people, who are more empathetic, compassionate and have a better perspective on life. Unbelievably, as they have been enduring their own epic battle against cancer, they have done whatever they can to help out and give to others. The Romigs have done the Relay for Life for the past 10 years, bringing in more than $100,000 to the American Cancer Society. Additionally, Tim co-founded FaceOffWithCancer, a nonprofit organization with the mission of supporting people in the Southern California hockey community who are battling cancer; they have raised nearly $100,000 over the past four years.
Lori is currently not able to communicate much at all, which is very frustrating for Lori and her family. Being named a recipient for the 7th annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride has given the Romig family a boost of energy and support to continue their years long fight.
Update: Lori Romig passed away in August 2016
Kim Scherrei is an amazing wife, and mother of four to Gwendolyn 15, Gretchen 13, John 11, and Natalie 9. In 2011, Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer; she had no family history, no high risk factors, and leads a healthy lifestyle. She found a lump, and was told it was “probably nothing”. After a biopsy and PT scan, it was confirmed to be cancer. On August 1, 2011 Kim had a double mastectomy and was diagnosed as being ER/PR – and Her2Nu +. On September 6, 2011 (Kim and her husband Chuck’s 14th wedding anniversary) she started a chemotherapy regimen that turned out to be a nightmare. In addition to hair loss, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and depression, she passed out twice and had to be transported to the emergency room via ambulance – once from her doctor’s office. Kim’s veins became unusable, so she had to have a port-a-cath surgically implanted in her chest between rounds of chemotherapy. She was originally scheduled to do six rounds of the chemotherapy regimen TCH, but after the 5th round her oncologist declared her to be done. Kim’s doctor said, “We are trying to cure her, not kill her”.
In December 2011, Kim was officially told that she was in remission. She continued to receive Herceptin for an additional year. Kim made it to the 3-year mark of remission and we thought we were “home free”. Unfortunately, she did not make it to the 4-year mark. In May of 2015, Kim felt another lump, this time in her shoulder area. Again, we were told that it was “probably nothing”. After further testing, we received the devastating news that the cancer had come back, and that it was in her lymph nodes. Kim had surgery to remove one lymph node for tissue sample purposes, and to reinstall the port-a-cath in her chest. She has had two rounds of Herceptin and is on an oral chemotherapy drug called Xeloda. We are awaiting Kim’s next scan to see if the current course of chemotherapy is working, or if we need to try a different strategy.
Kim’s husband, Chuck, and their four children are extremely grateful that Kim is currently in good spirits and at this time is able to be a part of their family life. Kim’s four kids love their Mom, and have done an amazing job dealing with the fact that she has cancer again. The Scherrei family is very humbled and honored that Kim has been named a recipient for the 7th annual Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride.
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
Kevin Feinbloom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Esophageal Cancer in August 2013 during a routine check-up for what he thought was just an irritated throat. He immediately began an aggressive treatment plan at UCLA, under the care of some of the best doctors in the world. Kevin is married and has two high school age children. Kevin’s wife is a Breast Cancer survivor; she underwent a double mastectomy in January 2013. Kevin and his family reside in the Thousand Oaks area and are very humbled to be named a 2013 Recipient for the Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride.
Update: Kevin Feinbloom passed away in February 2015.
In April 2009, Andreas complained of pain in his left leg above the knee. He had been skiing and cycling a lot, so they thought it was an orthopedic issue. Andreas went to an orthopedic surgeon for x-rays and nothing was found. Four weeks of physical therapy, ice and ibuprofin were prescribed, followed by an MRI if pain hadn’t dissipated. Pain decreased, so they thought physical therapy was helping; when in fact, a tumor had broken out of the bone, which can relieve pain. Three weeks after seeing the orthopedist at a routine visit to their pediatrician, Andreas was advised to get an MRI. On July 6, 2009 the scan revealed a mass in his left distal femur; within 2 hours he was admitted to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. On July 8th, at the age of 13, Andreas was diagnosed with metastatic osteosarcoma (bone cancer). A single, marble-sized tumor was also found and removed by thoracoscopy from his left lung. Andreas completed 6 MAP treatments, then had surgery to remove the tumor in his leg on October 2, 2009. The femur was replaced with a Compress prosthesis and artificial knee. Pathology was 75% necrosis; clear margins. 18 total chemo treatments were completed Feb. 28, 2010, with no evidence of disease(NED).
In June 2010, Andreas had a boating accident at camp. On July 5, 2010 he required a complete revision of the prosthesis. On September 14, 2010 his 6 month check-up scans revealed a tumor in upper left lung. Sept. 20, 2010 he had a thoracotomy; a total of 4 tumors were found, 3 in the pleural cavity; they were able to achieve clear margins. Treatment consisted of 10 rounds of chemo (Ifosfomide, Etoposide), the trial drug L-MTP-PE, and radiation to the lung. He completed: May 15, 2011- Ifos/ Etop, June 24, 2011- radiation, and L-MTP-PE- June 28, 2011. On July 16, 2012 – 15 month scans revealed a 2 cm tumor in his lower right lung. On July 22, 2012 Andreas had a thoracotomy; 2 tumors were found soo they did a lobectomy of his lower right lung; clear margins. He completed Gemcitabine/Docetaxel in January 2013 and in February began Hu3F8/IL-2 trial at MSKCC in New York.
Joni was diagnosed with Stage 2 Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Joni and her husband, Mike, have followed the ride since it’s inception in 2008. Joni has followed Andreas Knickman’s courageous journey on his Caring Bridge website and has contributed when possible; she has been “blown away and inspired by that family!” Joni has praised the Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride – how it is honoring Mike Nosco’s life and helping people in our community; she never imagined that she would be in a position to be a to be a recipient. Joni spent more than 600 hours in the hospital having chemotherapy and was not able to be in her office, but did her best to work remotely. Joni finished initial treatments on May 3, 2013, but she still has monthly visits and quarterly scans. Joni was on her bike and rode in the 2013 Mike Nosco Memorial Bicycle Ride – Go Joni!!
Update: Joni Taylor has been a MNMBR Recipient Ambassador since 2016