The Ride of His Life - article on Dell and Doug - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 23 Old Jun 10th, 2007, 9:56 am Thread Starter
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The Ride of His Life - article on Dell and Doug

The Ride of His Life - article on Dell and Doug
The Sacramento Bee's Scene section today has a great article on Dell and Doug's forthcoming (next Saturday) trip to Alaska. The article focuses mostly on Dell's cancer and his fight as well as his determination to make it fullfill a lifelong dream to see the Arctic Circle.

The article also talks about their preparation for this trip.

Here's the article:

http://www.sacbee.com/107/story/210762.html

Way to go guys.





I'll see you at the send off at A&S BMW on Saturday the 16th.



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post #2 of 23 Old Jun 10th, 2007, 11:21 am
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Great article!

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post #3 of 23 Old Jun 10th, 2007, 1:10 pm
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I'll make it Saturday too. Might need a ride though.

I've been telling family and friends about my buddy's, Dell and Doug, and how they plan on riding to Alaska. I'm just a little bit proud of these guys, and envious. I'll sure be monitoring the website with anticipation. (especially now that I have time)

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post #4 of 23 Old Jun 10th, 2007, 3:27 pm
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Went shopping with Dell and doug yesterday while they picked up some last minn suplies.

Like somthing to cook with somthing to hold water ETC.

At sportsmans whearhouse Doug tried on some "after riding" clothes they were so Comfy that he wore them out of the store.

Kind of funny watching the poor checkout girl have to scan Dougs Butt .

No dont go there resist.

The riders seem to be prepaired wish I was going .

Will be there to see them off.

Chuck
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post #5 of 23 Old Jun 10th, 2007, 3:47 pm
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At the last H.D.D.C. dinner, Doug bought me a beer. Since we only have one each when driving a few hours later, I told him next one's on me when he gets back! Unless, I see him the Wednesday! :-)

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post #6 of 23 Old Jun 10th, 2007, 6:12 pm
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Thanks for posting Raffy. Dell I'm pulling for you and Doug. You'll both be in my prayers.

On His Ride,
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post #7 of 23 Old Jun 10th, 2007, 9:21 pm Thread Starter
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post #8 of 23 Old Jun 10th, 2007, 9:52 pm
 
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Doug and I knew there would be an article in the Sac Bee today but I was quite surprised at the quality of the article. I have been a little reluctant about publicizing the ride. The Sutter Cancer folks encouraged me to go public because my story may inspire other patients to do the things they want. My goal is to get people to focus on their life and not on their cancer. I want to also motivate people to constantly monitor their own health so they can avoid the challenges I have encountered.

I guess now there is no turning back; Doug and I better make it! Thanks to all of you who have supported and encouraged me. Doug and I won't let you down.
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post #9 of 23 Old Jun 10th, 2007, 11:51 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dell
I guess now there is no turning back; Doug and I better make it! Thanks to all of you who have supported and encouraged me. Doug and I won't let you down.
Whether you go 9000 miles or just 90 you will not have let us down. All the best to the both of you and I hope to see you off on Saturday at A & S.

Fred Jewell
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post #10 of 23 Old Jun 11th, 2007, 9:54 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dell
Doug and I knew there would be an article in the Sac Bee today but I was quite surprised at the quality of the article. I have been a little reluctant about publicizing the ride. The Sutter Cancer folks encouraged me to go public because my story may inspire other patients to do the things they want. My goal is to get people to focus on their life and not on their cancer. I want to also motivate people to constantly monitor their own health so they can avoid the challenges I have encountered.

I guess now there is no turning back; Doug and I better make it! Thanks to all of you who have supported and encouraged me. Doug and I won't let you down.

Dell,

Just you being you inspires all who know you. I believe I'm a better person just to be considered a friend of yours. I wish you the best on this adventure, enjoy the journey. I also wish I could be there for your send off, but the WCR schedule was already set. But I'll be there with you in Spirit and will follow the journey with what ever info you and Doug can get online.

Take care and enjoy.

John & Cathy
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post #11 of 23 Old Jun 11th, 2007, 10:42 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dell
Doug and I better make it! Thanks to all of you who have supported and encouraged me. Doug and I won't let you down.
Dell, I met Doug for the first time at my first H.D.D.C. dinner last week. He's pretty shy, but was able to emerge from his shell...

Actually after just a few mintues, he seemed like the "lifelong friend" kind of man (even if I am wrong about that, he sure can keep a conversation moving!). He'll help you find that strength that you don't know you have, I am sure.

I'll try to make it to the sendoff - but my son picked that day to get married. I am looking forward to shaking your hand on day!

Brian
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post #12 of 23 Old Jun 11th, 2007, 11:04 am
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Guys:
Your article has caused a stir on the California VTX Riders site. I posted a link to this board. I am also jealous; have wanted to do this ride for years, but never made the time. Enjoy the ride and come back safe.
Ray

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post #13 of 23 Old Jun 11th, 2007, 12:19 pm
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[QUOTE=hallzee]Dell, I met Doug for the first time at my first H.D.D.C. dinner last week. He's pretty shy, but was able to emerge from his shell...[QUOTE] k;ljafdljafja;l

On His Ride,
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post #14 of 23 Old Jun 11th, 2007, 11:47 pm
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You guys stay safe... ride like the wind... and if you follow Doug... and he tells you to stay behind him... dont get too close... he may run into the side of a sand mound...

You guys are going to have a fantastic trip...

Mike Harrold


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post #15 of 23 Old Jun 12th, 2007, 9:21 am
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Doug & Dell's Trip

Hi Dell;
Read the article in the paper on your trip. I met Doug at an HDDC night just recently. My wife underwent cancer treatment. I'm aware of the toll it can take. I can only convey how much admiration and respect I have for you and your trip to Alaska. It makes no difference if you travel a day or 30 days. It's the courage to attempt it that counts. Remember, batting four hundred in baseball means you have to strike out six out of ten times. It takes courage to step up to the plate......Frank Mc
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post #16 of 23 Old Jun 12th, 2007, 11:27 am Thread Starter
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The article

Permission granted by author. Credit goes to the Sacramento Bee.

=----------------------


The ride of his life

Determined not to let colon cancer get the best of him, Dell Fields is embarking on a very special motorcycle trip to the Arctic Circle

By Cynthia Hubert - Bee Staff Writer

Last Updated 8:37 am PDT Sunday, June 10, 2007
Story appeared in SCENE section, Page L3

Print | E-Mail | Comments (4)| Digg it | del.icio.us

Dell Fields, 59, plays the piano in his Rocklin home. Fields, who has been fighting cancer that began in his colon and has spread throughout his body, is riding his motorcycle to the Arctic Circle and back to show that "cancer patients can do things they didn't think they could do." Sacramento Bee/Bryan Patrick

Sooner or later, cancer probably will kill Wendell "Dell" Fields.


Fields understands this.

Yet even as he fights tumors that have invaded his liver and lungs, and endures treatments that sap his strength and do unspeakable things to his body, Fields, at age 59, is about to take the trip of his life. On a motorcycle. For 30 days. Through unpredictable weather and all kinds of terrain. To the top of the world and back.

"I know that cancer could kill me. It could kill me on this trip, though it's doubtful it would happen that fast," Fields says of his ride to the region around the north pole, the Arctic Circle, that begins this week.

Yet for Fields, who is battling a disease that began in his colon and spread to other parts of his body, no time could be more perfect than now to chase his dream.

"I want to show the world that cancer patients can do things they didn't think they could do," says Fields. "I've always had a dream to go to the Arctic Circle. Now it's a goal."

Along the way, he hopes to convince at least a few people to get screened for colon cancer, or donate money to programs for families and caregivers of cancer patients.

It is not the first lofty goal that Fields, a bearish man with a gentle demeanor, has set for himself. College fullback. Concert pianist. Music teacher. Computer scientist. Chinese speaker. All of these things, and more, are part of his personal résumé.

"I go wide, but not too deep," he jokes, sitting in the living room of his home in Rocklin.

But his latest goal seems particularly profound.

Fields was a newly married supervisor for Hewlett Packard in 2002, managing workers around the world and logging more than 100,000 airline miles a year, when he started feeling the symptoms of cancer.

"I was working hard," he recalls. "I thought I was jetlagged."

The diagnosis was Stage III colon cancer.

With the removal of part of his large intestine, Fields began a medical saga that continues to this day. He has undergone two major operations, and five smaller ones, to remove tumors. He has endured four different chemotherapy regimens, each leaving its own horrific mark on his body and soul. His fingers are sometimes numb, sometimes tingly. His skin and scalp bleed. He feels sick to his stomach after treatments.

Fields has left his job at HP, and misses it "every day," he says. At times, simple chores tire him so much that he finds himself gasping for breath.

But, Fields is quick to remind himself, cancer has had an upside as well.

It reinvigorated his interest in music, for one thing. A classically trained pianist, Fields stopped playing regularly about two decades ago. It was his oncologist, fellow pianist Kristie Bobolis, who encouraged him to consider taking it up again. He did, and doctor and patient performed together last year at a recital benefitting the Sutter Cancer Center.

Fields took breaks between numbers, Bobolis recalls, at which time he talked to his audience about his diagnosis and the healing effects of music.

"It was exhausting for him, but his fingers moved like a blur," recalls Bobolis, who practices at Sutter Roseville Cancer Center. "His playing was awesome. It was a very special night."

Living with cancer has given Fields a deeper appreciation not only for the piano, but for friends and family, including his wife, Joan Lim, his adult daughter, Jennifer Greenfield, and his hyperactive shelties, Speedy and Mona.

And it has given him all the motivation he needs, he says, for a very special road trip.

"This is not the life I would have chosen," he says of his cancer journey. "But I'm going to make the best of it."

Not everyone is keen on his monthlong motorcycle ride to the Arctic Circle. A Buddhist monk advised against it, he says. But Bobolis has given him her blessing.

"It's not something that a lot of people in his situation could do," the doctor says. "But Dell is a goal setter, and it's not surprising that he's focusing on something new."

Late last month, Fields received his final dose of chemotherapy before hitting the road.

Sacramento Bee/Bryan Patrick

Dell Fields sits in the garage with his motorcycle. He and his good friend, Doug Holck, have meticulously prepared for the trip to the Arctic Circle. Sacramento Bee/Bryan Patrick


Sacramento Bee/Bryan Patrick




On Saturday he and a friend, Doug Holck, plan to roar off on their BMW R1150 GS Adventure motorcycles on the first leg of a trip that will take them through Idaho, Montana, Canada, Alaska and Oregon, and ultimately back to California. They intend to travel about 9,000 miles in about 30 days.

They have meticulously prepared for the trip, mapping out their route, arranging for tire changes and motorcycle maintenance and practicing on the kinds of dirt roads they will encounter in Alaska.

They will rest as often as Fields needs it, and will sleep in hotels and campgrounds. They will be packing 100 pounds of baggage, including tents, sleeping bags, tools, three changes of clothes and a satellite radio. Their motorcycles are equipped with GPS systems and heated seats and grips.



"As it gets closer, I do have some trepidation," admits Holck, a general contractor and motorcycle enthusiast who lives near Lodi. "But we've prepared very well. We have good machines, good contacts and support."

It will be the longest motorcycle trip that either man has ever attempted, although both have been riding since they were teenagers.

"The biggest question," says Holck, "is whether our backsides will hold out."

While on the road, Fields wants to stop and speak to service clubs and organizations about the importance of preventive cancer screenings. According to the National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is about 90 percent when it is detected early.

"God gave me a problem, a cancer problem, and I'm just hoping that people can benefit from what I've learned and what I've been through," Fields says.

At best, he says, the only illness that will befall him on the road will be homesickness. Still, the prospect of failure keeps him awake some nights.

"Fatigue is the biggest unknown," Fields says.

"Of course, I'm afraid I won't make it. I don't like to fail, especially publicly. What kind of message would that give?

"I just have to give it my best."

Bobolis is betting on Fields.

"I trust his skill and his knowledge in pacing himself and listening to his body, and his spirit is very strong," she says.

"I believe Dell will make it. And I'm already getting nervous about what his next adventure might be."

To read more about Dell Fields and his trip to the Arctic Circle, go to www.dellfields.com/ArcticCircle.html.





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post #17 of 23 Old Jun 12th, 2007, 3:02 pm
 
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Thanks for posting the article, Raffy.

I also scanned it to show my family members outside the area. Here is the scanned version.

http://www.dellfields.com/SacBeeArticle.html
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post #18 of 23 Old Jun 12th, 2007, 3:43 pm
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Dell, I think you and I have only met once , but i have to give you your props for what you are about to take on. I have a friend that is about your age w/ the same aliment who has all but given up.
I hope you still have room for the things you'll need to take with you, given the size of your BALLS!
Ride safe and GODSPEED to you both.
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post #19 of 23 Old Jun 14th, 2007, 12:38 am
 
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OK, last word on this subject but I can't resist. Today at about 5pm I was invited to be interviewed on KFBK 1530 am. I am told it will be a live interview to be aired at 8:40am on Friday. The interview should last about 3 minutes.

If you are driving to work at that time tune in and listen to me make an arse of myself. Well, I hope not.
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post #20 of 23 Old Jun 15th, 2007, 11:06 am
 
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DANGIT!!! I missed it - I was only a few minutes late, too! What happened? What did they ask you?
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post #21 of 23 Old Jun 15th, 2007, 5:53 pm
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Thumbs up

Dell, have a great time and enjoy the ride!!! We will be watching for your posting, we will be leaving in 3 weeks. Rob
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post #22 of 23 Old Jun 15th, 2007, 7:52 pm
 
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No problem Megan: It's on the blog: Doug and Dell's Blog

And yes, Megan, I mentioned A&S


Quote:
Originally Posted by RowdyGirl
DANGIT!!! I missed it - I was only a few minutes late, too! What happened? What did they ask you?
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post #23 of 23 Old Jun 15th, 2007, 8:18 pm
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Nice job on the radio Dell... Good luck and most important you both have fun and dont let Doug drive you crazy.

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