Our guest blogger, Scott Freitag, has stage 4 prostate cancer. This diagnosis inspired him to live his lifelong dream of cycling the exterior United States. His message during the 11,000-mile trek is to follow your dreams, live like you are dying, and don’t let fears dictate your life. Sing your joy regardless of the challenges in your life. How inspiring! Another You Heal You, modern-day warrior.
During the month of September, a donation to Zero Prostate Cancer will be TRIPLE matched by a generous donor. You can watch a recent CBS News interview with Scott discussing his journey here. To support Scott’s dream of raising awareness and funds for prostate cancer and schizophrenia go to www.milesformoney.org. Email email@example.com.
The following excerpt was originally published in Scott's blog post, "Living Your Dreams."
Photos courtesy of Scott Freitag and milesformoney.org
Scott is 2,900 miles, 17th state, into this 11,000-mile cycle trip of the perimeter states. We started on June 26th in NW Minnesota. We just stopped in Virginia Beach, VA: Scott has cycled through the Northern tier to Bar Harbor Maine, then down the East Coast. He has cycled through mountains, horrible weather with both heat advisories, air quality advisories, heavy wind, and torrential rain. He has run into dead ends, bad washed-out trails—where he carried his bike—poor routes, heavy traffic, and limited narrow shoulders. But he persists and he determinedly goes forward day after day, week after week, to make his dreams come true. He wants to honor the life he has been given, and Benny's while making this life long dream come true.
Scott is stage 4 prostate cancer. When the cancer metastasized to his bones (and multiple lymph nodes), a cure was no longer possible. (Scott’s reminder: early detection saves lives! Get your PSA checked men—Scott will be getting his next tests and treatments at Mayo in a week.) Having the cancer, and stage 4 diagnosis gave Scott the opportunity to strategically consider what his dreams were and how he wanted to live the rest of his life. It's a lesson for us all!
How many people live their dreams? How many people overcome fear and obstacles to do something simply incredible, beyond comprehension? And how many people do that with a stage 4 terminal diagnosis?
Perhaps it is the diagnosis that actually helps Scott “live like you are dying,” the Tim McGraw song he likes to quote. Scott’s message throughout this ride to all his family, friends, and colleagues is to do just that! Follow your dreams, live like you are dying, and do not let fear or obstacles dictate your choices or cancel your dreams.
Being brave and courageous does not mean that Scott is not afraid. Of course, he has the same fears as everyone. If can he do this, what will happen to the cancer, how will he do this, what will happen doing it day after day, will he be safe, will Katy be safe, what will happen with his family... on and on...Being brave and courageous means living fully even when you are afraid. Making dreams come true also means making sacrifices.
For us, it is missing family time, and substantial financial compromises to make this work. It means a whole lot of exhaustive work and planning. It means overcoming obstacles. But oh the joy to make your dream come true—it really is a gift to live your dreams and Scott and I know it. Go for your dreams! Reach for the moon!
Sincere thanks to so many that have been so supportive on the fundraising and sharing the mission!