During first year of chemotherapy, Longmont cyclist hasn’t given up

From the Longmont Times-

Blue Sky Velo bicycle club's Rob Winter leads a ride Sunday, July 10, celebrating his accomplishment of biking 4,000 miles since he started chemotherapy last August. Alongside Winter is fellow club member Sue Linroth. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)
Blue Sky Velo bicycle club’s Rob Winter leads a ride Sunday, July 10, celebrating his accomplishment of biking 4,000 miles since he started chemotherapy last August. Alongside Winter is fellow club member Sue Linroth. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)

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Advanced cancer was the last thing Rob Winter, 40-year-old cyclist, information technology professional and father of three, was expecting to hear out of his doctor’s mouth.

The health-conscious Longmont athlete, a road racer with team Blue Sky Velo, had attributed recent rectal bleeding to hemorrhoids — not stage 4B colorectal cancer metastasized to his liver and lungs.

“My health was really good. I was probably in the best shape of my adult life. I was working with coaches over at (what is now called) the CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center. No health problems, a very healthy individual throughout my life,” Winter said.

Winter learned that he has an 8 percent chance of living more than five years, not long enough, he realized, to walk his 10-year-old daughter down the aisle.

“It was a moment where I basically took a deep breath. From the analytical side of myself, it was the ‘OK, what do I do next?’ So it wasn’t distraught, it wasn’t despair, it was basically trying to figure out OK, what the game plan is,” Winter said.

That night Winter wrote a letter to his kids for them to read in the future, and started creating a list of who he wanted on his care team.

“I honestly don’t know where I got the strength from,” he said.

But sadly, Winter thinks he knows where the cancer came from. It is not hereditary. And colon cancer at age 40 is very rare, with routine screenings typically not starting until age 50.

Winter suspects that his malignancy stems from a youth spent at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, a Marine Corps base.

From the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, water in the area was laced with industrial chemicals such as dry cleaning and degreasing fluids, benzene, vinyl chloride and many others.

“Guys who thought they were serving the country, doing the right thing, were being poisoned,” Winter said…

Read the full story HERE.

Want to help?

Contributions for Rob Winter’s medical bills are accepted at www.gofundme.com/Rob_Winter.

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