As you may or may not know, my wife of 40+ years, Debbie Begin, was diagnosed with a brain tumor (Glioblastoma Multiforme) on July 27, 2012. After 16 months of suffering through the loss of practically all her faculties, she mercifully succumbed to the ravages of this devastating disease on November 15, 2013. After witnessing first hand, her sickness and subsequent death, I can only say that no one should have to experience such catastrophe. At present there is nothing further I can do for Debbie, but there is something I can do in her memory; raise money to help fund research that might help eradicate brain tumors and brain cancers.
You may also be aware that for close to 20 years I have been raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by participating in sponsored athletic endurance events. I have completed more than 35 events and raised more than $150,000.00 in the war against blood cancers and I'm pleased to report that the funds I've helped raise have made a difference in the lives of many blood cancer victims.
In 2014, I felt I must do what I could to help victims of brain cancers and brain tumors. My wife's brain cancer was the worst thing I had ever experienced in my lifetime and I needed to do whatever I could to help prevent others from experiencing such despair. Therefore, I decided to challenge myself to a greater degree than ever before and I sought your financial support of my efforts. I covered all my own expenses so rest assured nearly 100% of your donations went directly to the war against brain cancers.
On Monday June 15, 2014, my friend, Mike Goeddeke, and I commenced an unsupported bicycle ride across the upper peninsula of Michigan. We left from Ironwood, MI and rode through Iron River, Marquette, Newberry, Paradise, Sault Ste Marie and finished in Detour, MI on Sunday June 21. We rode 467 miles and were able to raise more than $16 per mile ($7500+). Needless to say it was a struggle, but as I met my challenge, I was thinking of my wife and all she had given me, everything I have and most of what I am. I was also mindful of all our supporters, and that motivated me to overcome the toughest obstacles, and I knew that it was much easier than what Debbie had to endure.
Last year, I came up with a new and bigger challenge to meet. On August 8, 2015, I once again packed my bicycle and started riding solo, from my home in Macomb, Michigan. My plan was to ride all the way around the perimeter of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, in a counter clockwise direction. I road my bicycle for a total of 17days (80 miles per day) to cover the 1350 mile distance. I was able to raise $6400 for the benefit of The American Brain Tumor Association. As an aside it should be noted I also raised $5148 for Leader Dogs for the Blind.
So, what am I going to do in 2016? How am I going to challenge myself or top my effort of 2015? Well, I am planning to once again pack my bicycle and on August 7, 2016 start riding solo into Canada with a final destination of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The total distance will be approximately 900 miles (75 miles per day) and I hope to arrive in Quebec City on August 19. In any event I should be home to celebrate my 66th birthday on 8/24.
In any event, if you are willing and able to support me in this effort, you can make a difference by clicking on the "DONATE NOW" tab found in this webpage and help me reach my goal.
If you prefer you can mail any donation, payable to American Brain Tumor Association,
John C Begin 16184 Forest Way Macomb, MI 48042.
Once again, your support of my efforts and your donation in memory of Debbie, is sincerely appreciated.
Very truly yours, John C Begin
(586)871-3235 (Feel free to text or call me while I'm on the road in August)