Photo courtesy Morrie Shepherd
Last year, Morrie Shepherd went on his first training ride for Obliteride just hours after getting infused with the cancer-fighting drug Taxol. The 67-year-old, who just finished treatment for stage 4 head and neck cancer, rode 12 miles and was hooked.
“I’ve never been a big biker but I just had to get out and try it,” he said. “Plus it was an opportunity to give back to Fred Hutch.”
In treatment for the last four-and-a-half years (he’s gone through radiation, several rounds of chemo and has participated in Hutch clinical trials), Shepherd feels it’s crucial to support other cancer survivors.
He created an Obliteride team called U-Dub 67-68. Comprised of Shepherd, his old University of Washington college roommate, his brother-in-law and one of Shepherd’s sons, the foursome raised $7,500 through their 25-mile ride. This year, Shepherd hopes to expand the team to seven people and raise $10,000.
Shepherd also hopes to inspire other Hutch supporters to sign up to ride or simply fundraise if they’re nervous to get on a bike. “Obliteride was just a really fulfilling event and I want to have something to look forward to,” he said. “It’s so important to never give up.”