Biking is a hobby that has taken Tim Harendt down a variety of roads, but a year ago Tim traveled a different type of road, one that left him wondering if he would ever get back on his bike again. Last January, Tim discovered a bump, which was quickly diagnosed as testicular cancer. Along with the diagnosis came the discovery that the cancer had spread to his lung.
"I was two weeks into my final semester of college so I went back to school not knowing if I was going to get to graduate," says Tim.
At 22, the diagnosis was a complete surprise to both Tim and his family as well.
"We were shocked. You know we have no cancer of any kind in our family," says Susie, Tim's mom.
For Tim it was a huge bump in the road. After a major surgery, Tim began an even more difficult journey. While receiving chemo treatments in Lubbock, Tim resumed his classes in Abilene at Hardin Simmons University. With the constant driving back and forth, Tim knew he needed something to smooth out the path on his road to recovery.
"I made a bunch of shirts for my friends that said "cancer sucks" and it had a little monster and it was a way that they could support me and it was something that really made me smile," says Tim.
Soon people began approaching Tim and his friends wanting to find out where they could purchase the shirt, but there were others who questioned Tim's choice of words.
"Personally I think this is the nicest way you can say it. There really are just some things in the world that suck and cancer is one of them," says Tim.
"It's not an appropriate word for everything but apparently for cancer it's very appropriate," says Mike, Tim's dad.
Now Tim sells the shirts and other products on line. A portion of the proceeds go back into the business but the rest of the profits go to cancer research. But today's bike ride isn't just for pleasure, you see surviving cancer has allowed Tim to discover he can overcome anything, a reason why Tim is training for a ride across Texas.
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"I was laying in the hospital bed after my surgery and I told my uncle, whose really the one that got me started riding bikes, that I wanted to ride across Texas when I got out of here, when this all ended," added Tim.
And that is exactly what Tim is going to do in early October, along with a few family members and friends.
"We're going to go from Texline to Galveston in 10 days. It's a little over 1,000 miles," says Tim.
With the help of friends like Chuck Colbert, who is helping search for corporate sponsors, Tim hopes his ride will raise $10,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
So now Tim and his bike will travel further than they ever have before. Although this road will present its' challenges, for Tim it will be a reminder of how far he has come and how much farther he has to go in the ride of his life.
To go to Tim Harendt's "Cancer Sucks" website, (click here).