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Cancer survivor Jamie Alamillo drives 540 miles after being told he'll never leave again



Jamie Alamillo, 48, was told by doctors that he would never walk or cycle again after being diagnosed with blood cancer in 2013. Despite these dreadful predictions, he finished a 540-mile journey earlier this month to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

It started with extreme back pain in autumn 2013. Then one night in November, he suddenly lost all feeling in both legs. After his wife took him to the emergency room, he spent six hours in surgery.

Alamillo was diagnosed with stage 3 multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that infiltrates the bone marrow and causes bone weakening. During his surgery, the doctors found that he had spinal cord compression and two lesions on his back, where the cancer was eroded on the bone and vertebrae T4 and T7 fractured.

After the operation, the doctors told Alamillo that he would probably never go again. As his toe moved, they said it was just a reflex. But when his knee moved a few days later, he knew there was still hope.

"From then on, I thought I was going for a walk, I'll prove the opposite," Alamillo said to Bicycling. "I'm cycling again."

A few months later he started with

Alamillo attributes to his wife and two children that they are a big part of his motivation to get better, knowing how hard it would be for his wife to care for two small children alone When his daughter learned to take her first steps, Alamillo also learned how to walk.

On July 21

, 2014, Alamillo received a stem cell transplant that turned him into remission, making him feel like a "new birthday."

To celebrate his good news, Alamillo attended America's Most Beautiful Bike Tour organized by Bike the West for Team in Training and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for the first time. He did not know it yet Remember that he was given permission to cycle on the 100-mile fundraiser in Lake Tahoe, but he knew he could do it – and has been doing so ever since.

] Returning on the bike

It was not just about getting Alamillo back on the bike. It was also about giving something back – the money that was collected on the trip flows into the funding of cancer research. With every $ 100,000 raised, you can choose a specific research portfolio to contribute to, so that the money can be used to research a particular cancer.

So far, Alamillo and his team Tour 2 Cure have contributed to two portfolios, one for multiple myeloma and one for cancer immunotherapy.

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<p class= In this year, Alamillo wanted to do something different and in addition to completing the standard 100 miles for the Alamillo decided he wanted to cycle to the starting point, which meant he had to drive 440 miles from his home in Santa Clarita, California, to Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

To prepare for his 540-mile Alamillo visited his local bike store InCycle and picked out a new Specialized Roubaix The shopkeeper gave him advice on what to wear – as it turned out – what he badly needed – especially on the thermal gear while driving through the Sierra Nevada mountains proved as cold r as originally assumed.

His father-in-law u accompanied him all the time in a car to ensure his safety and support.

"He was bored, but he stayed with me," said Alamillo.

Alamillo reached Lake Tahoe on May 31 and had enough time to recover before the 100-mile ride on June 2. As he approached the city, friends and teammates rode alongside him at various points. Others lined the street to cheer him on.

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Outlook

While the effort to make a 540-mile journey was monumental, especially while driving, Alamillo still lives with an incurable disease and says he feels better and better on his bike.

I still have uncomfortable spinal cord compression and some neuropathy, "he said," but once I'm on my bike it just disappears. "

Alamillo is in remission every three months with a Zometa infus He also treats his bones to harden and protect him from injury. He also uses a chemopile once a month to cause neuropathy.

Since joining the remission, Alamillo has participated in eleven half marathons, three marathons, a triathlon and an Ironman distance duathlon.

  Cancer Survivor 540 Mile Ride

Jamie Alamillo

Alamillo was also invited to another charity event this year, organized by the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. The event will take place from 17 to 22 September. He starts in Stowe, Vermont, and ends in Quebec. It will be his first time that he has to take his passport on a bike ride.

He will continue to make America's most beautiful bike ride each year. He is already planning the trip for next year and hopes to repeat what he did this year, preferably with some of his teammates to attend the entire 540 miles.

Over the past two years, his fundraising team has raised nearly half a million dollars for cancer research.

"I want to reach one million," said Alamillo. "I've already started a team for the next year."


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