The Ride

Sun September 26 - Sun October 10, 2021 Madison, WI 53783 US Directions
Team Fundraiser

Batterman

★★★★★ Wow! You're doing an incredible job!

$9,095

Raised of $10,000

$0
$10,000

Why We Ride

We ride for our friend and coworker, Paul Nelson, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last May. Please consider contributing to this amazing cause in support of Paul.

Paul's Story

On 5/5/21, I woke up early to go to work for a bridge deck pour. I noticed that my vision seemed off, but I felt fine and figured after I put my contact lenses in, things would return to normal. After doing just that, things still seemed off, but I had to work today, people were counting on me to be there, so I kissed my wife and left.

It did not take long to realize that things were not okay. I made it to just outside of Sun Prairie, before deciding that it was not safe for me to drive. I called into work to try to explain why I couldn’t make it. Of course, they understood, because the people at Batterman always have each other’s backs. I called my wife to let her know I was coming home. That is when things got scary.

Only a few miles out of town, I thought it would be no problem getting home, but I started to lose vision on one side and could not focus on the road. The next thing I knew I was driving in the wrong lane with oncoming traffic horns blaring in my direction. I was able to maneuver out of the way and just made it into my driveway. I could not move; I could not think. I was panicking. So, I called Whitney. Except it was not her. It was work again. I was incomprehensible, I could not explain, I was blacking out, I was having a seizure. Whitney saw me outside and dragged me inside. She did not know what to do, this had never happened before. I must call 911, right? she thought. Thankfully, she did.

I started to come to after the paramedics arrived. I did not know what was happening or who was in my house. I still could not think or communicate. What was going on?! They took me to the emergency room at UW hospital. I remember the paramedic asking questions, giving me medications, trying to bring me out of the daze and confusion.

We arrived at the hospital, and I arrived back to consciousness. I finally was coherent again. I could think. I could speak. What happened to me?! The doctors initially thought I had a stroke, but nobody could tell me why. I became a guinea pig, undergoing a battery of tests.

Eventually, this led to my first encounter with Dr. Ahmed. Paul, you have a brain tumor. We need to operate as soon as possible. Brain surgery? Are you joking? I felt fine 3 days ago.

On 5/7/21 I went in for brain surgery. It was deemed a success. They removed as much of the tumor as possible. I was dazed, had quite a set of stitches, and lost part of my vision, but I was alive and that was a win. While I was recovering, my tumor was sent off for testing. My caretakers were tremendous in such a way that I felt like they were all doing the jobs they were meant to do, and my wife, Whitney, was there every day.

On 5/9/21 I got to go home. I had been in the hospital for 5 days. I was feeling good. I was just plain excited to get home. As I was pulling into the driveway, I cranked Thunderstruck. I got chills like I never had before and walked into the arms of the greatest group of family and friends a man has ever known. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I was home and everyone was there to celebrate that with me.

On 5/14/21, friends and family were coming in and out of my house to say hi, to check-in, to show their support. It was wonderful. I felt great. I won. It was time to turn the page back to normalcy. Then I received the lab results for the tumor. Astrocytoma, grade 4, glioblastoma. Do not tell me you are going to send me the results with no interpreter for this foreign language. The house was quieting down. We were down to just a small group. I kept all this to myself until I got a call from Dr. Ahmed. I wanted to discuss your test results with you, he said. A grade 4 astrocytoma is synonymous with a glioblastoma. It is cancer and grade 4 is the most aggressive type of tumor. The words were difficult to get out of my mouth. I, Paul Nelson, have cancer. I cried and I thought, this must be some kind of mistake. I was able to tell a few people that day and they vowed to fight by my side. It was time to stand up, it was time to start fighting.

I do not know what my future holds or how long I have left, but I vow to fight until my last breath. The RIDE is part of my fight. I want to be a part of putting together a team of the greatest minds on earth to defeat cancer, something that causes so much heartache and destruction. Maybe this will save my life, or maybe it won’t. Maybe it will save your life or your child’s life. Maybe your wife or your brother.

My cause found me. I wasn’t looking for it, but I’m going to fight anyway. Fight for me. Fight for you. Fight for all. That’s why I RIDE.

More on The Ride

Our group is proudly helping accelerate cancer research and patient treatment initiatives forward at the University of Wisconsin through our involvement in The Ride, an annual wellness event which powers the brightest cancer minds, ideas and technologies at UW. We all have been affected by cancer in some way and more needs to be done to combat this terrible disease.

The Ride's mission is to give 100% of all participant-raised dollars (yes, every penny!) to the most promising UW cancer initiatives both in the laboratory and clinic setting. Since 2016, The Ride has raised over $1.3 million and what’s best of all is our ability to see where the money goes as the Ride presents their Ride Scholars each year!

The Ride takes place in September and 100% of all dollars-raised are presented to the newly announced Ride Scholar Class by January of the next year. This is done quickly so the funds can make an impact in the labs and hospital helping patients and families immediately. 

Help us support The Ride and its UW cancer mission. All contributions are appreciated - whether it is $5 or $500, every dollar counts and you can be assured that every dollar you give goes back to the cause and helping those affected by cancer. 

If you are unable to make a monetary donation at this point, please help us reach our goal by sharing this page with others on social media! Even better, send an email to friends you think might be interested in contributing or joining The Ride and include a link to our page.

To learn more about The Ride (and to sign up yourself!) please go to TheRideUW.org.

Thank you so much for your generosity and Ride On!

Top Donors

$9,095 Raised By 86 Donors

$1,000 on behalf of Andy, Erica & Jack Schecher
$500 on behalf of Elaine McClaren
$500 in support of Nick and Chris Armstrong
$250 on behalf of Brett Thieme
$250 in support of Kenneth Wolfram
$250 in support of Paul Nelson
$250 in support of Paul Nelson
$250 on behalf of Tim Debbie Sharkey
$200 on behalf of Ashley Hartman
$200 on behalf of Jacob and Megan Soldner
$200 on behalf of Nahid Afsari
$150 in support of Paul
$100 on behalf of Alicia Brown
$100 on behalf of Brian McFadden
$100 on behalf of Caitlin Clarke
$100 on behalf of Chip and Lauren
$100 in support of Christine Core
$100 on behalf of Daniel Keuler
$100 on behalf of David Setzer
$100 on behalf of Dawne and Russ Soldner
$100 on behalf of Deven Adams
$100 on behalf of Gregg Winters
$100 on behalf of Isaac Dornfeld
$100 on behalf of jeffrey scott
$100 on behalf of Jesse and Brad Gierach
$100 on behalf of kay coates
$100 on behalf of Kevin Castleberry
$100 on behalf of Leigh and Claudia Fatzinger
$100 on behalf of Linda Nedelcoff
$100 on behalf of Lisa Maertz
$100 on behalf of Margie Keuler
$100 in support of Mark Wolfram
$100 on behalf of Matt & Cassandra Shadley
$100 on behalf of Nathan and Bridget Sharkey
$100 in support of Paul
$100 in support of Paul N
$100 in support of Paul Nelson
$100 in support of Paul Nelson
$100 on behalf of Paul Nelson - a mega great, genuine guy!!!
$100 on behalf of Paul Rowe
$100 on behalf of Paulie
$100 on behalf of Ramirez Family
$100 on behalf of Rob and Katie Frank
$100 on behalf of Sarah Graham
$100 on behalf of Spencer Galbavy and Kristin Maenner
$100 from Anonymous
$100 on behalf of Timothy Will
$100 on behalf of Tina Minnich
$100 on behalf of Vanessa and Chad Rohm
$50 on behalf of Adam Kuntz
$50 on behalf of Alex Vergenz
$50 from Anonymous
$50 on behalf of Caryn Mellom
$50 on behalf of Diane Haseleu
$50 in support of Jarilyn and Larry Johnson
$50 on behalf of Jody Justmann
$50 on behalf of Joseph Cox
$50 on behalf of Kate Alwine
$50 on behalf of Lisa Szopinski
$50 on behalf of Lynne Brayton
$50 on behalf of Mary Buhr
$50 on behalf of Max and Emily
$50 in support of Paul Nelson
$50 on behalf of Paul Nelson
$50 on behalf of Sara Marquardt
$50 from Anonymous
$50 in support of Trisha Caine
$50 on behalf of Victoria Boucher
$40 on behalf of Nate Heimler
$25 on behalf of Alissa Foley
$25 on behalf of Alissa Foley
$25 on behalf of Amanda Schutz
$25 on behalf of David Zirngibl
$25 on behalf of Janine Baudhuin
$25 on behalf of Jeff Ballweg
$25 on behalf of Jennifer Garcia
$25 in support of Jesse Gierach for being amazing!
$25 from Anonymous
$25 on behalf of Michael Shenkenberg
$25 from Anonymous
$25 on behalf of Patrick Aiston
$25 in support of Paul Nelson
$25 on behalf of Robi Loos
$25 on behalf of Tiana Imhoff
$20 from Anonymous
$10 from Anonymous

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