Michael Seres – The Man With Olympic Sized Guts

The morning after my first bowel resection over 21 years ago, I was lying in bed still woozy from anesthetic. A troop of white coated doctors entered the room and surrounded my bed. It was my surgical team.

The lead resident was filling me in on how successful the operation was, how much bowel was removed, when he added, “Oh, by the way, while we were in there we removed your appendix too.”

He was much too casual about taking one of my body parts. I panicked momentarily, groping myself between my legs to make sure the surgeons hadn’t got carried away “while they were in there”!

I’ve learned to live with the consequences of those missing lengths for a couple of decades. I know I’ve been lucky. There are people in far worse condition than me. Then 5 days ago I came across Michael Seres online.

Michael didn’t just have a bowel resection. After years of chronic Crohn’s disease his bowel completely collapsed. A resection wasn’t going to do the trick. He needed a whole new bowel and was slated to be one of the very first people in the UK to undergo a bowel transplant.

The transplant took place in October, 2011. It [...] continue the story

Closing the Door on Cycle 4 2011

Last time, the Cycle 4 Team and I were continuing our journey across Canada –remaining kilometers: 1500, Toronto to Digby. We had already completed roughly 5500 from British Columbia. So no sweat, right?

Well, no. There was sweat. Plenty of it. Half of the reason cyclists always wear glasses is to avoid rain, bugs or dirt in their eyes. The other half is to avoid sweat splashing from the rider in front of them.

No matter the amount of perspiration, the next few hundred kilometers would be extremely special for me. I was fortunate enough to bike through my hometown in Toronto’s east end, and enjoy seeing all the places that have meaning to me; my grandparents’ street, the Tim Horton’s where I usually meet friends, the mall where I had my first job.

My second “hometown” of Kingston, where I spend more than half the year as a student at Queen’s was also one of our stops. To see my friends and family welcoming me home, in both cities, just spurred me on to pedal faster and harder for the last few legs of our ride into Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

I can firmly say that no other region in the [...] continue the story

Patient Commando & CYCLE4:National Relay

Toronto native and Queen’s University English major Aryssah Stankevitsch has a big goal.

“Two years ago at age nineteen I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Since then, I have immersed myself in anything I could to raise awareness and funds for juvenile diabetes research. My main inspiration in life is to find a cure; when that day comes, I want to know that I was part of it and contributed. I’m prepared to bike, crawl, cart wheel across the country to do so”.

And on August 13, Aryssah did just that.  As a member of the CYCLE4:National Relay team, she kick started a journey across Canada, a distance of almost 7000 kilometres. Aryssah and the other CYCLE4:National Relay team members will be riding in pairs, symbolizing that great things are always accomplished in ‘tandem’ with others. The relay will wind up in the seaside town of Digby, Nova Scotia on Sunday September 4, 2011 welcomed by 50,000 people as part of the Wharf Rat Rally.

The CYCLE4:National Relay in its inaugural year as the legacy of Cyclebetes and Team H2V – both national cycling relays that began in September 2007. As a banner program of CYCLE4:Whatmatters, the National Relay allows all riders to raise funds to support the health issues and organizations that matter most [...] continue the story