#24FacesCancer: Scott Wentzky
For most, participating in 24 Hours of Booty, 24 Indianapolis or 24 Baltimore is a life-changing experience, but for Scott Wentzky, tackling all three events in 2017 felt like a milestone year.
Scott came to us through Charlotte’s 24 Hours of Booty in 2015. As a cyclist in the Charlotte metro area, Scott had heard about the event for years, but it wasn’t until his mother Ginger was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014, that Scott jumped in to support Levine Cancer Institute, who was providing care for her. “I decided I HAD to ride,” Scott says. “Not only as a way to help support the foundation and its beneficiaries but also as a way to cope with the current impacts of cancer to myself and my family.”
Unfortunately, Scott’s mother’s diagnosis wasn’t the family’s first collision with Cancer. As he explains, “My sister Rayna was first diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1984 when she was only 8 years old. It was a very large tumor and required over a month in the hospital.” Rayna spent several years being tested and scanned, but even when she thought her trial was over, she has had multiple bouts with the tumors to date. Then, in 2014, the Wentzkys received more bad news.
“My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2014. Due to her weak nature from other health issues, she was unable to undergo surgery, and during all of 2015 and into 2016 she was treated with chemo and radiation. A couple of times the chemo and radiation seemed to be working, but eventually nothing was successful and she passed away on June 19, 2016.”
It wasn’t always Scott’s goal to participate in each of 24 Foundation’s events in a single year. In fact, it wasn’t until after the 2016 Charlotte ride that Scott decided to tackle the challenge. “With my mom being so sick and passing away just a few weeks before the Charlotte event, I was definitely NOT ready to ride and meet my mileage goal that year. I was nowhere near in shape and had to give up late that Saturday afternoon after I couldn’t continue.” After not meeting his goal in Charlotte that summer, Scott was disappointed and wanted to try again. Scott decided he was going to make his original mileage goal three times by riding it in all three 24 Foundation events in 2017.
According to Scott, “All three of the 24 hour events share the same goal, vision, and just all around support. I definitely feel everyone is participating for similar reasons, and everyone is there to help each other meet their goals.” Scott’s experiences across the country left lasting impressions.
“I have a clear memory of reaching my final mileage goal of 112 miles in each of the 2017 events. 112 was my mom’s age when she passed away and my sister’s age combined. The last event for 2017 was in Baltimore, and it was pretty late when I reached 112 miles. I had to stop on the side of the road to just take a moment. There were a lot of emotions to process. There were some spectators close by and they yelled to make sure I was okay and several riders even slowed down to make sure as well. That was definitely one of the more powerful ‘Whew!’ moments I’ve ever had.”
We love knowing that each of our participants – whether riding or striding – will experience their own bevy of “whew!” moments when they register for one of our 2018 events!