Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Sarah's Ride - Lee's Summit, Missouri

Written by  September 28, 2015

Saturday, August 22, 2015 was the date, and The Bar in Lee’s Summit, Missouri was the location for Sarah’s Ride. This wonderful event included a beautiful scenic ride with two stops, and ending back at the Bar. The ride was to help cover some of Sarah Sietstra;s countless medical bills in her fight against breast cancer.

Registration was only $25 per rider and $10 per passenger, and at Noon, kickstands went up as 75 bikes pulled out of the parking lot. After a beautiful ride, riders returned to The Bar for a fish fry, DJ entertainment, a corn hole tournament, silent auction, raffle, and a balloon release in memory of, and those who are fighting cancer. At the end of the day, over $16,000 was raised for such a wonderful cause.

Well, that’s our recap of Sarah’s Ride, and below is Sarah’s Story, as told by Sarah herself:

"My name is Sarah Sietstra. I’m a 38 years old medical device sales rep from Lee's Summit, Missouri.  In April 2015, I had the normal, annual well-woman's exam, including a doctor-given breast exam. Everything was fine. In May, as I was toweling off from taking a shower, and felt a small lump in my left breast.  I'm an A-cup so no mistaking it!  

The next week I went back to the doctor, who confirmed it needed to be check out, so the following week, she sent me to the hospital for an ultrasound/mammogram.  The week after the biopsy I received a negative result. The following week I had oncologist appointments, and the week after that were surgeon appointments. The following week I was on the surgical table having a bilateral double mastectomy. Because I was able to catch it early, it didn’t spread to my lymph nodes, for which I’m eternally grateful.  

Because I’m am adopted from Venezuela, I didn’t know my genetic history, and my next blessing came from a BRCA test being negative.  My oncology team was undecided on chemotherapy's effectiveness in my case. On one hand, I had a small tumor, a bilateral mastectomy, lymph nodes negative, so normally this would mean no chemo. However, since I'm only 38 years old, that seemed to make some doctors extremely nervous, considering less than 7 percent of patients with breast cancer are under 40 years of age. After numerous appointments, additional testing, discussions and debates, the decision was ultimately left in my hands, with which to wrestle. Specialists could be swayed either way, which didn’t leave me feeling very confident or peaceful. I sell contact lenses for goodness sake!

In my quest for answers and peace, I decided to meet with my radiation oncologist, whom I had an easy time talking and relating to.  We spent 2 hours digging into the same charts, graphs and data, which ended in the same vague answer “It's up to me, whichever I choose.” Ugh! I was defeated, frustrated, and over it. I was thinking it shouldn't be this hard; however, I believe my prayer was heard. The next morning my radiation oncologist called me directly. He had thought about my case all night, called my chief oncologist, discussed it yet again, debated directly and determined the benefit of chemotherapy would only add an additional 3% less change of occurrence in my case, so ultimately would provide more risk than benefit. More harm could be done to my body, than outweighed by the benefit. My chief oncologist agreed, and called me personally to let me know. I was speechless! No more decisions; no more unknowing. 

I’m thankful for the many doctors who took it upon themselves to understand my case, my concerns, dig into things, and take action on my behalf. I’m also thankful for my nurse navigators who took the extra time and leveraged resources to help me navigate this overwhelming journey.  I'm also thankful to all of my friends and family who have supported me in all ways possible, and mostly, I'm thankful to God for healing my body and blessing my amazing team at HCA Midwest Health, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Quinn Plastic Surgery Center and Medical Day Spa! After recently attending a benefit dinner featuring a competitive hospital organization, I feel even more blessed to have chosen the Kansas City HCA Midwest and Quinn Plastics teams, which provided me the latest and greatest procedures available right here in KC.

So ultimately, GO KC, GO AWAY to cancer, and GO EARLY DETECTION LADIES! It's much less time, finances, healing and risk when you catch it early. Yours truly knows!"

Photos by Doc Lonnie Blum with Explorer Photography, and provided by Pam Fredrick.

Mike Schweder

Editor-in-Chief - Kansas City, MO

Mike is the original founder of Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine and an avid motorcycle enthusiast. He has been riding for over 40 years, belongs to several local and national motorcycle organizations and travels to numerous rallies and events throughout the US each year. Mike has been a writer and editor for many years and has a passion for sharing his motorcycling experiences and stories with you. Contact Mike at mikes@cycleconnections.com