The Ride returns to raise money for cancer research
MADISON, Wisconsin (WMTV) – Thousands of people gathered on Sunday to cycle, run and walk in hopes of finding a cure for cancer.
The Ride is an event designed to raise funds for cancer research at the University of Wisconsin and the Carbon Cancer Center. Approximately 2,400 people participated this year, with all money raised remaining in the Madison community. Since its debut in 2016, The Ride has raised approximately $ 1.8 million for cancer research.
This year was the first time that Paul Nelson participated in The Ride. Nelson graduated from UW-Madison and played soccer during his time there. While he’s been in other fundraisers before, The Ride is personal.
“I wanted to be part of something that I thought I could make a difference in,” Nelson said. “This is something that struck me because I was recently diagnosed with cancer. I thought in my fight I could help others fight too.
In May, Nelson was on his way to work for his company, RH Batterman, when he sensed something was wrong with his vision. However, given that he had woken up around 2 a.m. and was wearing contact lenses, he figured he needed time to wake up and his vision would return to normal within minutes.
However, as he walked away from home, things only got worse.
“I started going to work, driving to work, and just started losing my sight on the way,” he said. “I got a little scared, I was wondering what was going on, I decided to stop because I just didn’t think I was going to make it.”
Nelson called his wife and let her know he was coming home, and called his job, where he was working on a bridge project, to say he couldn’t get in. It was then that her boss, Lance Wagner, knew something was wrong.
“Paul called us on the way to the bridge saying he wasn’t feeling well, we’re like wow, it’s not like Paul,” Wagner said. “He said he wouldn’t make it, which, again, isn’t like Paul. If he commits, he’s there.
Nelson just came into his driveway when he had a seizure. His wife managed to drag him into the house, where she called 911. Nelson was rushed to UW Hospital, where he underwent tests.
“We didn’t know what it was initially, I was being treated for a stroke,” Nelson said. “Then they did scans and realized that I had a brain tumor and needed immediate surgery to remove it. It was shocking to say the least. ”
Only two days later, Nelson underwent brain surgery, where doctors removed a large part of a tumor. He later found out that the tumor was cancer.
“I couldn’t remember anything that had happened to me before that day, losing my vision, that would have indicated that something was wrong with me.”
With the support of his wife, family and colleagues at RH Batterman, Nelson underwent his first round of chemo and treatments. He continues to receive chemo, but says he is grateful for the support of those close to him. The Batterman team is one of the biggest teams competing in The Ride this year.
“Paul has done everything we asked for for our business, and always more than we asked for,” said Wagner. “It would be natural for everyone to give back to Paul. ”
Nelson said since his diagnosis he hadn’t said no, living his life to the fullest. He said that one of the main reasons he will continue to fight is that he and his wife are expecting their first child this winter.
“There are statistics, but none of these statistics include me,” he said. “So I have a chance here, and I’m going to give her everything I have.” “
Nelson has said he will be back at The Ride next year, with his team Batterman.
At 2:30 p.m., The Ride hosted a Celebration of Life, where leaders from UW, along with cancer patients and survivors, spoke about the importance of The Ride and the work of UW to find a cure for cancer.
For more information on The Ride, click here.
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