2020 and Beyond Adventures by Bicycle with Multiple Myeloma Andy Sninsky
Meet Me: Andy Sninksy a.k.a. “Crazy Guy on a Bike”
Some of you reading this may know of my support toward you, my fellow patients. I have been riding a bicycle and adventuring around the world since 2011 in support of other people dealing with Myeloma, as well as other blood cancers. I have enjoyed meeting and being inspired by patients wherever my two wheels have taken me. It is time to look ahead into the new decade and give you an update of my upcoming adventures. 2019 saw me take a fall off the bike. It has been a long road to recovery, but I knew I would make it. I think that is the resilience part of the IMF theme for 2020. November 4 of 2019 was the first time I got back on the bike since my fall May 5, 2019. After many tests, the doctors are still not sure what caused my tumble. My helmet was broken in 5 places, so the fall must have been pretty good/bad. I did break my pelvis in multiple places so there was a lot of pain and discomfort for quite a while. I went from hospital bed to wheelchair then walker during rehabilitation. As I improved, I took many long walks with my Nordic walking sticks and I am now back to exercising normally. The diagnosis was that I had a bout of syncope (I blacked out) and they still do not know what caused it. I had passed out only one other time in my life, while being treated for MM and in Vienna, Austria 2008/09. I think all the cancer treatment had something to do with it then.
After months of rehabilitation, which included riding a stationary recumbent (sort of bike) many hours at the gym while reading fun books to occupy my life, another myeloma patient told me it was time to get back on the horse/bike. We did a 12-miler on November 4 and I have not looked back since. I am now approaching 2000 miles of training for me to get ready for my future bicycle adventures. I have bicycled and visited myeloma support groups in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and recently Gainesville and Ocala, Florida, as well as California since my return. I am happy to say that if I have not healed 100%, I am getting there.
I feel very good right now. I recently saw my myeloma specialist who gave me a clean bill of health, allowing me to head out on the bicycle adventuring again. I am very fortunate not to have an M-spike, nor any anemia at all. I am fit as a fiddle for this ride and I am excited to be helping raise awareness of blood diseases once again. April 2020 will mark 13 years since my diagnosis. I am 10 years without maintenance so that makes me very fortunate and happy. My wish is that the cure will come soon for all of us. I told myself that when I run out of my touring introduction cards, I would think about retiring from the long roads and maybe concentrate on shorter adventures. As long as I feel good, I will continue to enjoy meeting people along my bicycle routes on this continent and others.
So where am I going in 2020?
I am looking forward to exploring the Midwest and Canada this summer. Last year I was three weeks from beginning this same tour when I crashed. I'll be starting at the Kansas City Multiple Myeloma Support Group and riding about 400 miles along the KATY rails-to-trails to the St. Louis meeting. If all goes well, the patients and caregivers there will see me in late May and early June. After these meetings I will head off toward Michigan, New York, and Canada. I have an invitation still open to show up at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York in late June. This is my excuse to visit family and ride the historic Erie Canal trail between Niagara Falls and Albany, New York. Look for me on a road near you from May until September. I look forward to getting back on the long road again soon.
I also look forward to seeing new sights and meeting patients and medical professionals in New Zealand and Europe in 2021.
My plan right now is for nearly a year of continual summer. I should arrive in Auckland, New Zealand sometime in February of 2021, and will pedal and explore both the north and south islands until at least May. From New Zealand in May, I will go west through Sydney, Australia and then to Vienna, Budapest, and Eastern Europe for the northern hemisphere's summer. I will spend more time there with other patients and support groups, as well as continue to explore my family roots in Slovakia, Ukraine, and Hungary. These plans should certainly keep me busy and not thinking about too much else. That’s the way it should be with cancer - we should not let it control our lives; our doctors and families should help us control it. My wish is that all of you can have an improved quality of life which allows you to look to a healthier future.
It is all any of us wants.
Follow My Adventures
Andy Sninsky on Facebook
Andy Sninksy on Twitter @andysninky or @volcandy
As I ride, I will update all of you above with my whereabouts and progress. Join me on this final leg of the journey of a lifetime in my second life. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
How I Raise Myeloma Awareness
Well, first off, I'm a myeloma patient whose disease in complete response. When I cycle on my myeloma awareness rides, I wear an International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) polo shirt and hat. You can donate by clicking the DONATE button above or send us a check. All gifts will assist the IMF and support groups. I ride not only for me, but for all of us. This is your chance to do something good for those less fortunate-me included.
If you would like to support the event, you may do so by clicking on the DONATE button above. Or you can send a check, payable to:
Attn: Suzanne Battaglia
12650 Riverside Drive, Suite 206
North Hollywood, CA 91607
Please note in the Memo/For Line: Bicycle Mojave and Beyond 2020
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the International Myeloma Foundation research arm.