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Father and 9-Year-Old Son Team Up to Support Mom Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

By BCRF | September 30, 2015

Two nationwide initiatives launched by one family to fuel breast cancer research

Two years ago, Mike Nelson was confronted with devastating news: his wife Christi’s first mammogram had detected breast cancer. After a year of treatment that included chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, he thought she was on the road to recovery. However, a PET scan in April led to a second breast cancer diagnosis.

“It was a punch in the gut,” Mike said.

As Christi continues to undergo treatment, her husband and 9-year-old son Archer have been taking action to raise awareness about women’s health and supporting breast cancer research.

To that end, Mike will embark on a nationwide motorcycle journey to honor his wife and to support BCRF. His  “1 in 8 Ride,” named for the number of women who will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime, will start in San Francisco on October 1 and cross 12 states before arriving in New York City.  He plans on stopping at cancer treatment centers, shopping malls and sporting events, sharing his story and encouraging others to remain vigilant about their health. So far he has raised over $10,700 for the cause. 

Leading up to his ride, Mike has been writing names of men and women impacted by breast cancer on his bike. “The bike is a tribute to their fight,” he said.

While Mike considered a fundraiser for breast cancer research in the past, his wife’s reoccurrence sparked him to take action this year.

“I can't stop thinking about how many lives breast cancer has touched,” Mike said. “I can't forget the look of concern in my boys’ eyes. I never want a child to have to worry about their mother.”

Mike’s older son Archer was particularly affected by his mother’s diagnosis. To cope, he penned a song. Mike, who is a radio DJ at KFOG in San Fransisco, shared the lyrics and melody with popular artists like Florence and the Machine, Hozier and Noel Gallagher who have contributed their talents to create a track of the tune which will be released the same day he starts his “1 in 8 Ride.”

The Nelsons hope their acts will inspire others to support breast cancer research and others impacted by the disease.

“Breast cancer research matters to me because in my mind it’s the key to helping people win the fight,” Mike said. “My wife is a direct beneficiary to new medicines that are giving her the opportunity to be a survivor.”

While he hopes to share his story with others as he crosses the nation, Mike says he has learned plenty at home.

“I feel honored and blessed to be by her side. I have seen sides of humanity and individual perseverance that I didn't think possible,” he says. “There are some really hard times but over all I am in awe of my wife and her determination and sense of humor through it all.”

Support the Nelsons and their mission to #BeTheEnd of breast cancer. Donate today