My name is Barry Patterson and I’ve been a riding a bicycle for as long as I can remember. It seems that cycling has been a part of my life since I could stand on my own two feet. I can remember riding my BMX bike from my house to a lake several miles away and enjoying the freedom that came along with it, simply spending hours riding around. I started to ride more seriously as a teenager and I’ve been an avid cyclist ever since, participating in both road and mountain biking.
I met my wife Julie on the first day of college in 1986 and in 1991, we were married. We had our first daughter in 1996 and our second in 1999. Life changed dramatically for us however in May of 2000 when my wife was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 33. She had a radical mastectomy and went through both chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She spent the next several years in remission however in 2008, the cancer had returned and metastasized to her liver, lungs and bones. In 2010, the cancer had spread again, re-occurring in her liver, lungs and bones, but this time it had also spread to her brain. Her MRI revealed at least 14 separate legions. She was then put through whole-brain radiation therapy, followed later by gamma-knife surgery. The radiation was effective, however as a result, it created a necrotic mass in her brain which forced her to endure a craniotomy in 2012. She has had to endure weekly chemotherapy treatments since the fall of 2012. My wife is the strongest person I know.
I am riding from Port Huron to Mackinac for my wife, my daughters, and for all others that have to endure this horrible disease. Cycling 300 miles in two days is nothing compared to what a cancer patient must go through each and every day.