Support: Bank of Montreal. 08020 to Randolph Westphal
We drove around 8.30 clock in Staunton on Hwy.11 (Lee Hwy). The highway had been cleared of snow. No salt, chemicals was taken to defrost. This has an advantage that the roads are dry, except where the snow melts. Disadvantage, the stuff penetrates into groundwater and I'm not sure if you can filter out the.
If the groundwater is treated as the import of food (Worldwide) not at all, then I see black for …….
Minus 20 ° C (10F) For every mountain descent, I felt my head explodes.
I was back in hotels whose brand name I knew and had made for this advertising. Only after the sixth hotel, I was invited by the Holiday Inn. Shortly after checking in, I had an interview with this reporter Preston of the newspaper the Daily News Record.
How many media had also TV3 no phone number or email address specified clearly.
In Waynesboro VA. I was at the Best Western Plus Waynesboro. Missy, Front Office Manager welcomes you. After I had it explained our current situation, we were invited. She called Brook Driver to director of marketing, I met the next day. Brook contacted all media. If all goes well, then we can help many people.
Status Jan.2014 Nanook 10 years old: severe osteoarthritis can not or will not run every day. Chinook 8 years arthrosis in the initial stage wants to go 3km in the trailer. Randolph: Every day very strong hip, knee and shoulder pain. I can no longer pull than a few kilometers my aging team. No lower molars, thus no solid foods. Psychological problems with the older. I can not accept the physical difficulties. Every day stomach problems. So hard that I think the time Hunter (cancer) is back. I am no longer physically large distances to travel to the location by bicycle. The team is also no longer be able to run longer distances. I'm glad to have a support car. But I need medical assistance in all matters. January 1 to 11. Route: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina. On Monday 7.1. I-10 we were in Mobile Alabama. The town lies at the mouth of the Mobile River. Mobile is the largest port city in Alabama. Hwy.98 along the Mexican Bay. With wind chill factor we had temperatures down to minus 26 ° C.I still could not decide whether we should go to Key West in Florida. But this was taken decision from me. “we do not do that” was heard in many hotels. Time passed because of a search for an “invitation” from a Hotel in Florida.I-95 to the City of Savannah, the wiki says it is one of the most beautiful cities. Matter of opinion. Hwy.21 to Augusta Georgia. Rain, fog, cotton fields and the loss of original documents. So give a shit! Hwy.121 to Greenville South Carolina. I-26 Ashville, North Carolina.
Julie Ball |
Diagnosed with severe skin cancer in 1987, Randolph Westphal is on a bicycle journey he says has lasted more than 20 years and 135,000 miles. His message is one of encouragement, telling people to never give up their fight against cancer. He rides with his two dogs, Nanook and Chinook.
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Diagnosed with severe skin cancer in 1987, Randolph Westphal is on a bicycle journey he says has lasted more than 20 years and 135,000 miles. His message is one of encouragement, telling people to never give up their fight against cancer. He rides with his two dogs, Nanook and Chinook. / Erin Brethauer / firstname.lastname@example.org
ASHEVILLE — More than 20 years after Randolph Westphal first biked through the mountains of Western North Carolina, he is back.
Westphal, who is from Germany, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 1987 and given six months to live.
“I decide not to die,” he said Tuesday with his German accent.
He got on his bike and in the years since that diagnosis, Westphal, 55, has biked 132,000 miles in Europe, South America and North America. He travels with his two dogs, Nanook and Chinook, and his goal has been to inspire other cancer patients.
“I accepted my fate but felt I needed to not give up, so to get the word out I started my journey for cancer awareness,” Westphal said on his Facebook page. “My ambition is to give other people hope and courage.”
Westphal continues to bike in spite of 28 cancer operations and a serious accident in Argentina.
“In 1996, I got in an accident in Argentina where I lost my memories,” he said. Westphal spent years recovering.
Westphal said he’s regained most of his memory. But he hopes his latest trip to WNC will help him regain more of those memories and reconnect with the people he met during his stay in 1991.
“And now I’m back to find what was here, what I have done here, who knows me,” he said.
Glenn Carvalho, of Whittier, first met Westphal in May of 1991. At the time, Carvalho owned a restaurant in Sylva and he had taken Westphal some food.
“When I first met him, I thought he was a real interesting guy and I felt for him. I told him to stay with me for a couple of days,” Carvalho said.
That turned into a couple of months.
During his visit more than 20 years ago, Westphal discovered a lump under his arm. With help from a couple of local doctors, St. Joseph’s Hospital agreed to treat Westphal for free while he was here.
Westphal stayed with Carvalho until hitting the road again. “He’s a tough guy. He’s determined and he’s strong. If you put yourself in his position, as many operations and as many times he thought he was going to die, it gives him an incentive to get on that bike,” Carvalho said.
For a while, Carvalho got newspaper clippings and letters from Westphal, and he once tried calling him in Germany, but the two lost touch.
That was until Sunday.
“He just showed up,” Carvalho said.
Westphal said while he is in the area he also would like to find the doctor who treated him.
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"Never give up"
Man in Provo during world travels with message of endurance
Cancer survivor Randolph Westphal sits for a portrait with his dogs Chinook, left, and Nanook at a hotel in Provo Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Westphal and his two dogs are traveling across North America encouraging those fighting cancer to never give up. Westphal himself has been through 28 cancer-related surgeries. MARK JOHNSTON/Daily Herald
Randolph Westphal lives what he preaches – “Never Give Up.”
Westphal, a citizen of Germany, is on a short stop in Provo on his sixth bike trip around the world.
As if that weren't enough of an accomplishment, he has survived 28 cancer surgeries and spent five years in a hospital after nearly dying in a hit-and-run accident on his bike in Argentina. His left leg was severely damaged and had to be reattached after he was flown to Germany a month after the accident.
Nevertheless, he remains optimistic and wants to carry his message to others.
There are three parts to his message. The first is to never give up, the second is to be good to yourself, such as eating well and taking care of your body. The last part is to enjoy your life.
“Your immune system works much better when you do,” he said. “You don't have as much chance to get cancer or allergies.”
In 1987 he was diagnosed with cancer, which had spread to his lymph nodes.
“When it is in your lymph nodes, the statistics say you have six to 12 months to live,” he said. “I was very depressed and crying. I was 29 years old. I didn't drink or smoke; I was very active.”
He believes his cancer came from negative stress rather than from lifestyle. He had a series of setbacks in his early life, including working at an early age, and starting a business with a partner who eventually cheated him.
So he decided to challenge himself positively.
“When you do what you like to do, put positive stress on your body, maybe you can live longer,” he said. So he started biking, and has been doing it for 26 years. He's biked through Europe, and North and South America.
Another reason he began biking is that he couldn't get work in Europe because nobody would hire him, as they thought he was dying.
“I took my dog Shir Khan and a bike and I went biking a little bit in Europe,” he said. That little bit ended up to be 2174 miles in seven weeks, including crossing the Alps.
“I did it just to prove to myself that I am not sick, I just have cancer,” he said.
So the adventure began.
He sold everything and flew to New York. Then as he was crossing the eastern United States and parts of Canada, he had a bout with frostbite. He was in Quebec when he needed a checkup for the cancer. The doctor there asked him if he would like to talk to cancer patients. He answered that he would, and would tell them about his desire to continue living.
“The next day there were 25 patients, two big newspapers and TV and radio stations there,” he said. The experience was frightening to him. “I was close to a heart attack.” His story touched the attendees and they began crying, but he wasn't sure about that.
“I thought it was my English that made them cry,” he said.
As supportive as he is of the medical profession, he said that doctors don't actually heal people.
“It starts here,” he said, pointing to his head. He said that people need to be positive and do their best so their bodies can heal themselves.
Elizabeth Shepherd, an oncology certified RN at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, said an attitude can help.
“Having a positive outlook during cancer treatments helps patients know that the days will seem shorter and that the treatments will seem less of a hassle, less of a bother,” she said. “Having a positive attitude gives patients hope for better days to come.”
Unlike many other riders who have support vehicles and sponsors, he is a solo act.
“I am a lone rider,” he said. “I do everything on my own. I have no big company behind me.”
He does have some support, however. Best Western hotels and motels offer him short stays in areas where he travels. The rest of his expenses are covered by donations he receives. He budgets $10 to $12 a day for those expenses.
The bike trip came to an abrupt halt in 1996 when he was in Argentina. He was hit by a car which rolled over him and his dog, who died. The driver put him into the ditch and left.
“Four hours later they find me and brought me to La Plata,” he said. “They wanted to amputate my leg. The bone was gone.”
Hospital personnel contacted the German embassy, which contacted some of his friends who said they would take care of his expenses. He was taken to a German hospital in Buenos Aires and later sent to Germany, where his foot and ankle were reattached.
He had temporary brain damage and lost his memories, his speech and much of his vision.
“I was in a wheelchair, then a walker,” he said. The prognosis was not good.
“I proved them again wrong,” he said. “In the meantime they called me a living legend. A cat has nothing against me. He has nine lives, but I have had 12 already.”
One of his latest brushes with death was this August.
“I collapsed along the road,” he said. “I had an infection in my leg. A lot of people passed me by but three girls finally stopped and called an ambulance. They brought me into Prince George. The doctor said in two more hours I would have been dead because the bacteria would have been in my heart.”
After that collapse, the doctor told him he shouldn't be biking with so much heavy luggage. He purchased a car at an auction and changed his methods, but not his message.
“I don't like to give up,” he said. “I never give up.” Now he drives to a location and bikes in areas around it. It actually ends up being more miles that he bikes, but that's fine with him.
“It gives me a chance to meet with people,” he said. “I will talk one-on-one or to groups like Lions or Rotary clubs, whenever I have a chance.”
His only companions are his two dogs, Nanook, 10, and her son Chinook, who is 8. They come first for him.
“In 1992 we were snowed in in the Yukon and I ate dog food,” he said. “I have no food for me but always enough for the dogs.”
They have faced wolves, bears, rattlesnakes and other predators, but he said they are not the worst.
“The scariest are the humans,” he said. He said he has been hit and pushed off the road “just for nothing.”
As a motivational speaker, he offers a message of hope and never giving up. Occasionally, however, he admits he gets to feeling a little down.
“It's when nobody is interested anymore and I go four or five or six days trying to help people and nobody listens,” he said. “I feel like giving up. I am starting to get really down.”
In the evenings when he is in his hotel room, he will go back and read his journal and remember the times when he made a difference.
“Those times, like when I talk to other cancer patients and see hope in their eyes — that is my motivation to keep on going,” he said.
He plans on leaving Utah County Friday morning and heading south.
“Our next big place is St. George,” he said. “We will go to Zion, Bryce, Moab and Arches. Then we will get in the car and go to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, then bike around Santa Fe and Houston.”
He plans on spending two more years in the United States and perhaps South America, then ending in Germany around the end of 2015.
• Information about Westphal's journeys is available at www.randolph-westphal.de.