The Ride of Hope

Posted on October 28th, 2011

First, if you are new to this blog, let me catch you up.

My name is Yarden Frankl and six years ago I moved from Potomac, Maryland to Neve Daniel, Israel with my wife Stella and our four kids. For six years we have had an amazing life filled with equal loads of satisfaction and pride for our choice to make Aliyah, as well as a whole bunch of fun. As a hobby, I started riding bikes and running really far. Everything was really as good as could be, until…

At the beginning of the Summer, Stella felt a pain in her stomach. A few days later, our worst nightmare became our reality when she was diagnosed with late stage stomach cancer. Since then, our lives have been turned upside down as Stella struggles with cycle after cycle of chemotherapy.

While Stella battles the illness and the chemo as best as she can, I have been left sitting helpless while I watch from the sidelines. Wanting to get up and do something, and also concerned about medical expenses, I decided that I would ride my bike through the night and raise money for the Gush Etzion Foundation’s fund for families like ours struggling with serious illness. More on my decision if you read this post.

So now, what began as a late night thought, as turned into a major campaign. People from all over are pledging their support, and Stella and I cannot thank you enough. Really, we see every pledge that comes in, from close friends to those we have never met. It is extremely moving and even if I said THANK YOU a million times over, it would not be enough. I wrote a form thank you letter but it really cannot describe how moved we are each and every time we see a pledge.

Now, with the ride less than two weeks away, it is time to plan the details.

So here are some of them:

I will begin the ride in Neve Daniel, riding laps around a two kilometer section at the center of the Yishuv. I encourage friends and neighbors to come out and walk, run, or bike that evening. I would love to see people as I embark on this quest. One word of caution is that riding a bike at night along streets that are open to traffic is not without a bit of danger. So please be careful if you want to ride with me. Please wear a helmet. Bike helmets have saved my life more than once. This is a ride of hope to get someone well so having someone else go to the hospital because of the ride kinda defeats the purpose, don’t ya think?

After about three or four hours of riding in the Yishuv, I will start my tour of the Gush. I plan to ride through Allon Shvut, Rosh Tzurim, Kfar Etzion, and Efrat….. a couple of times. I will have a support car driving behind me with friends providing real time Facebook updates and videos during the ride. If you live in Efrat or anywhere else in the Gush and want to ride with me at some point in the night, friend me on Facebook so you will know our status.

Sometime around 2:00 A.M. I will return to Neve Daniel. Yes, climbing that hill is not something that I am excited about, but it has to be done. I will finish the ride with more Neve Daniel laps, riding behind some friends who will be pacing me. If all goes according to plan, I will finish 200 kilometers by about 6:20 at the bike park next to the Makolet.

During the ride, I will have several GPS devices to record my progress and will be checking e-mails and Facebook. Josh will have to respond on my behalf since I have experimented and found that trying to type and ride at the same time is harder and more dangerous than peeing from a bike. ;)

Throughout the night, I will be using a variety of products for hydration and fuel. The car will hold spare clothing, bike parts, and even a bike or two just in case, along with a large amount of diaper rash cream. ;)

That’s all for now. If you have not done so, please consider joining me with a pledge either per kilometer, hour, or a total sum. Click here to do so. Your name and amount will never become public. My goals are 200 kilometers and twelve hours. There is no chance I will ride more than twelve hours. If I ride more than 200 km, I will only expect you to donate up to the 200 mark unless you are o.k. doing the total milleage. It’s all up to you.

Cancer effects millions of people. It terrorizes those it strikes and the ones who love them.

On our own, we may feel powerless.

But together…for just one night, let’s do something crazy and show that cancer will not break our spirit.

Join  me as we…

Fight like Hell and Ride like the Wind.

(although I really hope there won’t be much of the famous Neve Daniel wind that night.)

Please help spread these posts around.

THANK YOU.

- Yarden and Stella Frankl

Neve Daniel, Israel

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Comments

  1. libby anfinsen says:

    Dear Yarden and Stella, Did you ever imagine that Stella’s malady would
    provoke such a universal unity to do good….it makes one wonder whether
    this beautiful neshama of Stella’s with her current afflicton had a mysterious purpose in teaching us a lesson and moving us to action. This action can move mountains and reach the heavens!! Good luck on your torturous bike ride and best to the total refuah of beautiful Stella. Libby A

  2. Batya says:

    refuah shleimah and good luck to you and all of your family and friends

  3. tehila leah says:

    can’t pledge money but my hopes are with you and your family for your wife to have a full recovery.

  4. rachel says:

    yeah yeah yeah- we love you guys- its a long ride but we are with you all the way…

  5. Tony Swil says:

    Hi Yarden
    When you have a minute can you please describe your planned route through/around Neve Daniel as I would like to practice it.

    Best of luck & hatzlacha!

  6. I plan to ride from the back of my house along Nof Herodian and then down into the Schuna Hadasha, then turn left and go up by the kikar at the entrance to the yishuv, then right on the first street followed by 2 lefts that bring me back to the main road. Then up the main road. About 2km. Of course, if I can bored, I may improvise……
    After ND, it is laps between Rosh Tzurim and Zayit in Efrat. About midnight, I will ride to the Old City and back. Want to get back to Neve Daniel by 4.

  7. Stephanie Frumkin says:

    In the merit of Stella having a refuah shelaima we donated money. Good luck with your ride. We’re davening for you, Stella and your family. Glad to hear the good news. Please may it continue.
    Love,
    Stephanie and Dan

  8. Minka goldstein says:

    Dare I ask what the diaper rash cream is for????????

  9. Moishe Lewack says:

    Yarden & Stella:

    Pam and I donated $118.00 in your honor. Both of you are in two words or less “grandly amazing”.

    Kol Hakavod! Our thoughts, prayers, and love are with you and your family.

    Love,
    Pam and Moishe

  10. Sitting on a bike for 12 hours, take a guess