The thing Meredith Stutz remembers most about her grandfather? He was always on the move. Whether it was fixing something, doing chores around the house, playing with his grandkids or riding his bike, Mike Goeddeke never stopped. In fact, for many years, Goeddeke rode his bike to raise money for cancer research. Meredith’s great uncle had passed away from cancer, and that inspired Goeddeke to get on his bike to try and help others facing the disease. Then, in 2015, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“It was manageable for the first few years, and my grandpa was still the same loving, energetic, active and strong-willed man I had grown up with,” said Stutz. “However, in 2018 he was diagnosed with a rare rectal cancer, which eventually took his life in November that year. I miss him dearly, and the pain of losing someone you love never goes away.”
Stutz was looking for a way to honor her grandfather and help support cancer research locally, so the Victory Ride to Cure Cancer was the perfect opportunity.
“One of my grandpa’s favorite things to do was to ride his bike, but towards the end of his life cancer made it too painful to ride and I know that really affected him,” said Stutz. “What better way to participate and get involved than to continue my grandpa’s legacy of fundraising and love for biking!”
Given her grandfather’s history of participating in these types of fundraising events, Stutz has enjoyed feeling that connection as she fundraises leading up to the ride. She’s used Facebook (which connects directly to her personal Victory Ride page!) to raise over $1,500 thus far. She has also recruited friends and family to ride along with her, knowing that every dollar raised leads to more potentially life-saving research.
“I think the best thing about this fundraising process is seeing people come together and support a cause that has affected us all,” said Stutz. “I know in my heart that my grandpa will be riding right alongside us.”