A journey from filming elite riders to a stage 4 colon cancer

PSA: Check Your Shit

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Garret Van Swearingen is one of those people that is unforgettable. He’s got puppy golden retriever energy, always has a smile on his face, and up until very recently had the most perfect red hair. It’d flow behind him while he skied down the most perilous lines in the Alpental backcountry. It poked out from under his helmet and goggles while he pounded his way down the rocky singletrack of Snoqualmie Pass. He’s been given funny nicknames like the Red Tornado and ShREDasurus Rex. The dude is a machine in the mountains. He exudes strength, confidence, and speed when descending. He hits the line that intimidates everyone else. He’s loose but pretty lucky. At least, he was until about four years ago when he was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer at the absurdly young age of 32.

Why am I telling you about Garret? Because you’ve probably seen his work without knowing it, and I want you to pay attention to him and his story. It may save your life.


Garret and I first met back in 2016 when I was looking for a filmer for a project for Diamondback Bikes. My budget was small. My idea was big. I needed someone willing to work long hours, drive far, and make the impossible happen. Enter Garret. The always-smiling, always-thoughtful friend of a friend who was looking to break into the bike industry. He was keen to test his mettle on this absurd seven-day marathon road trip I’d dreamed up for shooting a cyclocross video, and since I don’t know anything about cyclocross I figured we’d make it a mountain bike film on a ‘cross bike. (Sorry, Cooper.)

Lost in Place Crew

The Lost In Place Team - Jasper Wesselman, Kerry Werner, and Garret.

Garret and I worked alongside Jasper Wesselman and shot Kerry Werner—a legend in the ‘cross, XC, and gravel scene. Our road trip took us from Bellingham to Seattle, Kachess Ridge, Leavenworth, back to Bellingham, Seymour, Squamish, Sequim, Forks, and eventually back to Seattle. We shot from sunrise to dusk every day for 7 days. It was exhausting, punishing, and one of the best shoots of my life because Garret did not fuck around. The guy was a machine and despite cutting off the tip of my finger with his drone, and eventually catastrophically crashing that drone, we made one of my favorite projects to date.

This was the start of a killer friendship and working relationship. Garret and I bounced all over the northwest and BC together for Diamondback, Red Bull, and Kona. At our peak working relationship time, we won the Best Mountain Film Award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival for our piece on Micayala Gatto and her art. It felt like magic. We filmed a few pieces with Aggy and did some weird and wonderful work for Kona and Garret’s career as a filmer blossomed. He picked up big projects for Rad Power Bikes, Evil, and Loge Camps.

Garret’s first love is skiing and in 2020 he took a trip to the pow paradise of Japan. “I ate all the weird foods I could. I ate my heart out,” he recalls. Shortly after his return from Japan, he started having some weird gut issues. He was having more frequent bowel movements and there was blood in his stool. Garret decided to try to get into the doctor in March of 2020—coinciding with a little thing called Covid. Getting into the doctor proved to be an ordeal, but he finally was given word that it was likely just a GI issue like Colitis.


Happiest in the mountains. PC: Ryan White

The blood in his stool didn’t stop and eventually, he asked the doctors if it could be cancer. They told him he was too young and too healthy for that to be a consideration, and because of the timing alongside Covid, it was a challenge to even schedule a colonoscopy. After several months of continued issues, Garret finally got in for his colonoscopy in June 2020. “I was watching the camera on the screen and saw a white mass as the doctor’s faces dropped,” he said. They found a 10cm tumor in his colon. Garret can’t shake the thought of what would have been different if he’d gotten the procedure in March when his symptoms were emerging.

What does one do when they find out they’re likely going to die from cancer? Garret’s trauma response shows his life in vivid color. “It’s like I was on drugs. The colors in the park the day of my diagnosis were insanely gorgeous” he remembers. “This world is so beautiful and I wanted to be a part of it so badly.” Garret kicked his positive thinking into high gear. That infectious, always-stoked, puppy energy fueled his fire through surgery after surgery, one chemo infusion after another. “I’d switched from being terrified to wanting to be the best freaking patient these doctors had ever seen.”

The colors in the park the day of my diagnosis were insanely gorgeous. This world is so beautiful and I wanted to be a part of it so badly.

He was on a rollercoaster. A surgery would be a success and all of the cancer would be removed, but in follow-up scans, it returned. Through it all Garret continued to thrive in life. Death wasn’t an option. He’d bike with his chemo pack. He’d smash out massing ski touring objectives that would leave even the fittest mountaineers breathless. He never quit. He took to sharing his cancer journey on his Instagram account and gained a worldwide following. His story was brutal, but also wildly inspiring. “Eyes up. Stout heart. Always forward, never back. Onward,” became his mantra.

In the spring of 2021, Garret had another surgery to reconnect his colon so he could poop like a normal human. Think about that. What a simple thing to take for granted. He and his wife celebrated by taking a trip to the San Juan Islands. He was cleared to exercise and had taken to the ebike as a part of his recovery. They rode 30 miles and he felt like he was on top of the world. Two months of carefree living ensued, and during that time they formulated the idea to open their own grocery store in their hometown of Snoqualmie Pass.

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Garret and his wife, Kirsten at the Laconia Market. If you're ever in Snoqualmie Pass, it's worth a visit.

Let’s think about that for a minute. At the time Garret had stage three colon cancer, had been through several major surgeries, and several major rounds of chemo, and thought, “Hey, let’s open a business!” This is Garret through and through. There is no impossible for him. Plans were set in motion. A space was found. Investors invested and the foundation of what would become a community haven—Laconia Market was born.  Garret and his wife, Kirsten spent the majority of their time building Laconia, and any spare minutes they had were spent skiing or biking.

Even though he may have been the busiest guy in the world, Garret and I continued to shoot fun little projects into the summer of 2021. When we wrapped up shooting one day I remember him telling me he needed to talk with me. We leaned against his dusty black F150 and he broke down into tears. He told me his latest CT scan revealed spots in his lungs and his liver and the cancer had progressed to stage four. It felt like the ground fell out from beneath us while he spoke. “How the fuck is this possible? Why me? I learned the lessons I was supposed to learn. I paid my karmic debt to the universe. People don’t survive stage four,” he said.


What you can't see is that Garret has his chemo pack on underneath his jacket in this photo. PC: Erik Hedberg

Once again Garret went into full fighter mode. He eventually had half of his liver removed and two lung surgeries to remove the diseased spots. The hospital sets a goal for patients like Garret to walk one mile around the hospital floor. It takes 18 laps around the hospital to hit a mile. Within a couple of days of his second lung surgery, Garret was walking mile after mile in that hospital, and in early 2022 Garret and Kirsten finally opened Laconia Market. It became a labor of love and they were working 90-hour weeks while Garret was continuing his scans and treatment.

The market was an instant success, but the time required to get it stable was wearing thin on Garret. His mind kept wandering back to his diagnosis. Time was his most precious gift and his was being stolen at a rate that no healthy human can comprehend. As help was brought on at the market Garret wasted no time getting back to living—refusing to accept the opposite as his fate. His friend Scott Rinkenberger eloquently said to him, “As fate has robbed you of your years, you’ve doubled down and made a lifetime out of a broken hourglass.” What does a guy who’s been given what amounts to a death sentence do? He literally learned to fly. In the summer of 2022, with a stage four cancer diagnosis, half a liver, God knows how many chemo rounds under his belt, and a flourishing new business Garret learned to paraglide. “When you’re flying all the noise goes away,” he recounts. “All the fear goes away. You’re a bird. I was dealing with this terrible diagnosis but I was doing what I loved."


Garret about to fly near Snoqualmie Pass. PC: Jackson Dove

Garret’s Instagram account is splashed with colorful videos of him soaring about Snoqualmie pass. Watching his videos it’s hard not to feel lighter, and freer—just like a bird. But as light and free as he feels when he’s flying, touring, or ebiking, his mind is growing more rooted to his reality. “The more bad news you get, the more you learn how to just deal with it. At this point, I almost feel numb to bad news.It just doesn’t feel real when I hear the doctors tell me timelines or how much disease I have,” he told me this week.

Screenshot 2024-04-21 at 9.53.39 PM

Garret's ebike gave him a new lease on life during treatment. He rode it constantly—even with his chemo pack. He kept himself focused by following these words he wrote early on during his treatment.

Garret’s disease has progressed in a big way since January. Until then he’d never lost his hair, but more aggressive treatment meant saying goodbye to his signature red flow. He’s paler. He’s lost a lot of weight. The tumors have spread to his face. They’re continuing to grow near vital organs. The doctors have been dark with their prognosis, and you can probably guess what I’m going to say next. Garret’s determination never faltered. Through all of the trials and tribulations, Garret and Kirsten welcomed a daughter, Felsen, last August.

When I see her, I’m amazed. She is nothing short of a miracle and she takes my breath away. Felsen has a perfect smile, she’s ambitious and she has soft little sprouts of red hair emerging from her head. Garret and I were watching her play with a group of friends recently. He just stared in awe as she crawled around the floor, engaging with his friends and her mom. “I’m so glad Kirs has Felsen,” he said, teary-eyed. I can’t know what he was thinking, but I can imagine it was big. When you fight for years to stay alive and you somehow manage to have a kid who looks like your mini-me, it’s got to feel profound.

When I told Garret I was writing this piece I asked him what he wanted people to know. His message is loud and clear. Check your stool for blood. Don’t ignore it. As much as he hates to admit it, Garret had blood in his stool for years in his 20s and he chalked it up to partying. He even told himself, “One day this may come back to bite me in the ass.”

Colon cancer diagnosis is through the roof. It’s now the leading cancer killer for men under 50 and the second-leading cancer killer for women under 50. Early-onset colorectal cancers have been increasing by 2% per year for 20 years. That number is massive, and a big part of the why is because so many people ignore symptoms. You, reading this right now, there’s a good chance you’re the target age for this disease to strike. Pay attention.

Scientists aren’t sure exactly why we’re seeing this monumental rise in colon cancer. There are a myriad of guesses including PFAs in drinking water, microplastics in our food, Teflon from the pans we all ate out of for so long, or chemicals in the air. There’s also an emerging theory that the overuse of antibiotics is killing the gut microbiome which helps prevent disease and irregularities. A simple way to ensure you have a healthy gut is to take probiotics. It used to be assumed that people who got colorectal cancer were living unhealthy lifestyles, but more and more cases like Garret’s are coming to the forefront. Cancer doesn’t give a fuck if you’re a clean-eating, Nagchampa-burning, yoga-practicing hippy. So, check your shit. Literally.


The face of a guy who was healthy, who has inspired people around the world with his story. But cancer can sneak up on anyone—even the healthiest. PC: Scott Rinckenberger

Last Thursday Garret received a stent in his liver. It means he has a fighting chance to be enrolled in one more trial which may buy him a little more time. To Garret, every minute is worth fighting for. Every sunrise, every sunset, every giggle from his daughter, every visit from a friend means he’s still here and able to fight. For most people, it’s fight or flight. For Garret, it’s both.

Garret has a request for everyone reading this. There’s a new trial called Revolution Medicines called Trial RMC-6236 and he’d be a great candidate for the science. He's asking for any help getting connected to anyone involved in this trial. I know it’s a long shot asking a bunch of mountain bikers, but we’ve made magic happen before. Whether it’s through several degrees of separation, if there’s any chance to connect him, please reach out via the comments.

Lastly, Garret’s GoFundMe is linked here. He’s had great success with this, and I can tell you that the funds he’s raised have paid for flights and accommodations to so many medical facilities, and have helped him be able to live closer to the hospital without having to live in the hospital, and allowed him more time to spend with family and friends, and that’s something we can all get behind.

My intention for sharing Garret’s story with you isn’t to cause sadness or guilt. It’s to give you hope that you can still live even while dying. Garret has been the poster child for hope and perseverance throughout his entire ordeal, and it has changed the way I look at stress and hardship, and I hope it does for you, too

Trending on NSMB


+9 ShawMac Pete Roggeman Deniz Merdano mtbarny BarryW Andy Eunson mutton Beau Miller Sven Luebke

I met Garret at Laconia just after it opened (he makes a really good latte), but also knew of him from Lacy highlighting his journey with cancer. In a large way, I owe my ability to continue my life in the way I know it, to him being so open about what he's going through. I can't even start to imagine what he and his family have been going through, but from my interactions with him, he's a fighter. 

I've just finished treatment for stage 3 rectal cancer, however... I had no symptoms, so don't think you can take a wait and see attitude to this. I am 46 and my doctor suggested screening and I am VERY glad that I did. I had 13 polyps in my colon and the one in the area when colon becomes rectum was in the very early stages of being cancerous. I had surgery last August, removing 10" of my colon in that area, in the hope that the cancer was contained to that area. Unfortunately it had got into my lymph system, so needed to go through chemo and radiation too. I was diagnosed on June 28th last year and just finished my treatments 4 weeks ago. I am VERY lucky to have caught this early, with hopefully no long term effects. I was also in good health otherwise and able to cope with the drugs and side effects better than most, but it's harsh stuff that makes you feel fairly crappy a lot of the time. 

I have been encouraging anyone I know, where the topic makes sense, to get screened. The polyps may never become  an issue, but for peace of mind it makes sense to get a colonoscopy, get the polyps removed and then keep up with the screening schedule that your doctor suggests. Don't skip getting screened, because by the time symptoms are evident you may be in a lot worse situation.


+1 Lacy Kemp

So with that ten inches did you have to have an ostomy bag or a cut an reanastamosis at the same time?

I had a tiny chance of an immediate reanastamosis but ended up needing the entire colectomy and wearing a bag for the year. 

Glad you caught it in time. Even so getting your guts cut open is scary. Glad you're here to talk about it.


+2 BarryW Andy Eunson

Thankfully no bag. Just took out the 10" and so far things are close to normal again.



That's awesome, glad to hear it.


+7 werewolflotion Shinook shenzhe Pete Roggeman Andy Eunson Cam McRae Beau Miller

Beautiful piece of writing Lacy. I can feel your love and friendship so vividly, and Garret is an inspiring figure. This emerging younger-people cancer trend is scary already but I don’t think I’ve heard about somebody as young as 32 before! Will share this with those I know in the medical field, which is very few admittedly. Wishing Garret all the best, looking forward to his next project.


+5 Jon Harris Pete Roggeman Andy Eunson BarryW mutton

Thank you Lacy!  Man, what an inspiring story.  All the best to Garret and his loved one's for enduring this.

Love the message too.  Check it and describe it.  Maroon, streaked, "paint the bowl" kind of blood, only with wiping, calibre changes, pain/pressure c stooling, volume and frequency to name a few.  Just ask your primary care provider and start that conversation.  It may be awkward at first but it is the job of the provider to foster that curiosity and help answer your questions.

Again, best wishes Garret, you are truly inspiring.


+4 DanL Pete Roggeman Jotegir Emma Le Rossignol

This one hits close to home for me. As of my 2-1/2 years ago I had to have my entire colon removed due to scarring from Crohn's disease. 

Having the ileostomy bag for a year, and getting a reconnecting about 1-1/2 years ago was a big deal. Pooping like a person is surprisingly important. 

I'm doing well now, and lucky for me no cancer (so far) but it was a huge journey to go through.

Beautiful writing Lacy. And Garrett sounds like a awesome dude. Heal up.


+4 Jon Harris Andy Eunson BarryW Cam McRae

There were 4 instances on my fathers side so I been get the scope  every 5 years since I was about 40 cuz cancer doesn't care how healthy you are 

the scope isnt bad but the prep is shitty


+1 BarryW

No guff eh. Colon blow is an unpleasant thing to take. My friend Terry went for his inspection a few years back but failed to realize he needed someone to drive him home after. He asked if he could have the colonoscopy without sedatives and they said sure. Apparently it was quite the ordeal.



My last one (which technically isn't a 'colonoscopy' but an 'ileoscopy' due to not having the colon) was without as that's the normal deal if you don't have a colon and it wasn't too bad actually. 

Best part of the 'no colon club' is that all my prep takes is not eating after midnight and some water. Being super clean without a colon is easy. BUT... Having done the standard cleaning quite a few times it sucks.


+4 ackshunW BarryW mutton Beau Miller

My experience is that you don't need any special connections to get into a trial.  They are all documented at clinicaltrials.gov. They include "eligibility criteria" and all the locations that are administering the trial (the closest location for RMC-6236 is california,  UCLA). Your oncologist is (should be) aware of relevant trials.  If you meet the criteria,  and are willing to be available at one of the locations,  he can contact the coordinator and get you enrolled.  Mine has suggested trials when things are dark on the standard treatment front and has even helped me meet criteria (given me units of blood to bring hemoglobin up). Smartpatients.com has forums dedicated to your type of cancer. You can see what trials and drugs others are trying and what's on the horizon.  I wish Garrett all the best.


+4 BarryW Karl Fitzpatrick IslandLife Beau Miller

Just here to say I love seeing you all talk about this so openly! Normalize poop talk when it can help save lives!


+3 BarryW Lacy Kemp IslandLife

Had my first colonscopy last year at 43 after occasional but decent bleeding. The prep is actually fine. It's was the food restrictions I found hard (oh boohoo, three days).

Thankfully all clear but good to have done and have already decided on a three yearly recurring appointment list. 

Thankfully I have the means to pay for it (subsidised by insurance in NZ) so it's a small price to pay.



Oddly enough, this documentary showed up on my YouTube feed yesterday. https://youtu.be/ylRtdvA9lXM?si=pCkxba-erxuNPzal


+3 Jotegir BarryW Beau Miller

"...he asked the doctors if it could be cancer. They told him he was too young and too healthy for that to be a consideration..."

A good friend died two years ago of colon cancer, leaving behind two young children, because of this same exact attitude.  Another yoga/health nut killed by the laissez faire attitude of some doctor.

Age restrictions around when you should generally start getting things like your colon checked... in the face of cancer-like symptoms??!!  Is fucking truly ridiculous.

The other, possibly even more important lesson I learned a long time ago, and this experience as well as Garret's highlight it - you have to be your own strongest advocate!!!  Don't let doctors wave you off, you can and should push to get done whatever you think it necessary   Do your own research and push back hard.  Push for more info, push for accountability, push for whatever services you deserve... your life depends on it.

There are ways to game the system as well.  Need some kind of scan that there's a 6 month wait list for?  Show up at the ER at 4am at the hospital that has those systems on-site with bored over-night technicians - boom, scan done. (Be prepared to overexaggerate symptoms and levels of pain/discomfort/lifestyle impact and impact to your mental health!).  Also, call the location where the scans will be done and let them know that you're willing to be there ASAP in the event of any last minute cancellations (if possible), they often have special lists of people you can get on for this kind of thing.  If they don't have a list, daily calls to check for cancelations works as well.  They hate idle machines.  I've had multiple friends/family members get their scans within weeks vs the "up to a year" wait lists they were facing by using these techniques.

Think you may have an issue that needs a referral to a specialist that may take 6 to 8 months to see, and your doctor is saying things like "The list is so long, come back to me in another couple months after trying "this" and then we'll see."  Fuck no... get those referrals sent NOW and sent to multiple specialists.  Now start calling those specialists and let them know you can come in anytime if there are cancelations / call them daily.


+3 BarryW rojo IslandLife

My neighbor was a very fit guy who jumped off mountains, kayaked wild rivers, good touring/ alpine/ xc  skier we had done all those things (I didnt paraglide )and the MD said he was so healthy he didnt need the scope which means he was stage 4 by the time they caught it and he was fucked, in huge pain assisted dying in his mid 50's

For a scoping we need an MD from the big city so the last scope i got in on a cancelation within a few days


+2 werewolflotion BarryW

Awesome content, and Garret sounds like one hell of a guy. Best wishes on your health journy my man.


+2 BarryW rojo

I've checked it my whole life. My mom died of cancer in Jan 88, and she impressed upon me about checking in 87, she was diagnosed in Jan 86. It's one of the few ways you can see inside.


+2 Pete Roggeman BarryW

Beautiful piece. I get the blood. But it’s haemorrhoids that are internal and don’t hurt. I’ve had the colonoscopy and I’m good. When odd things happen I get it checked out. I had an optical migraine a few years ago which at my age may have been a stroke. But after a myriad of tests it’s all good. I’ve had friends injured and even lost a few to accidents, but no one had yet been lost to disease, but at 66, I know it will happen soon. As time passes you treasure past experiences with friends and look forward to new ones even if they are less ambitious due to age. 

Thank you for writing this.


+2 BarryW rojo

Stool blood testing kits are $10 or so. Starting at 30, it's probably worth doing one at least once a year. The important thing is not to ignore weirdness or be ashamed of it. I've had colonoscopies since my 20s, talking about my butt with medical providers has become as mundane as stepping on the scale at a physical.


+2 Pete Roggeman Beau Miller

Hi! I have a contact at Memorial Sloan Kettering who may be able to help get into contact with the PI of the study being run there.


+1 Beau Miller

Hey Jill, I think maybe you got in touch with Garret and Kirsten? let me know if you didn't. Thanks!


+1 BarryW

Thanks for a great article, and a reminder not to take life for granted. 

According to my doc, the recommended screening age was fairly recently dropped from 50 to 40 or 45 (sorry I can't remember which), meaning that insurance is much more likely to cover a colonoscopy earlier. Did my first last year at 49. Not a ton of fun, but well worth the minor discomfort of the prep to have things checked out.


+1 Lacy Kemp

As a (very serious) cancer survivor (I've always been super healthy, fit and good BMI) I would urge everyone to look into the metabolic aspect of cancer, alongside all of the conventional medicine. There will never be a magic cure for cancer, as cancer is just too sneaky to be taken out by one single course of action, so my advice is: be the director of your own healthcare and learn everything you can about it, and look into *everything* you can do to help your case rather than just what the doctor says. This includes metabolic pathway blockers (take Jane Mclelland's online course: she is one smart cookie who saved herself from stage 4), healthy eating (no added refined sugar: it feeds cancer), and gentle exercise.
At the end of the day the drugs help, but it is your own body that needs to heal up from surgery/mop up the damage, so do everything alongside conventional to maximise your chances. Good luck and best wishes!



I went through all of this in my head two years ago. I had been experiencing severe gut pain frequently (initially once every month, then weekly, then multiple times weekly). Three trips to the ER because of the pain. First two trips ended with a "just a gastritis, stop eating unhealthy" diagnosis. Before the third, I had gastroscopy done to check for any abnormalities. The only diagnosis coming from that was an autoimmune gastritis, a fairly harmless condition, which only leads to low amounts of gastric fluid, but usually no pain. Thankfully, no signs of cancer - but neither any explanation for the severe pain.

Thankfully, during the 3rd ER visit, the doc finally found the root cause, stones in the gall bladder. Turns out I had been passing stones for the past year. Unfortunately, after unblocking the tract from the liver into the stomach, my inflammation levels kept on climbing for another week before finally levelling off. I spent that week wondering about wether I would get to see my half-year old son growing up. Every day several checks, never any conclusion. Thankfully, after two weeks in hospital pretty much everything was checked, my vitals were slowly getting better, so I was discharged. I had my gall bladder removed about a year ago and have been living pain free since then. The doctor told me a similar thing as Garrett - "normally this only affects old people". I was 35 at the time.

All in all, I was lucky and my story so far seems to got a better route than Garret's. I lived through it in my head, but not with my body.

I have a theory about this uptick in colon cancer (and gastric problems in general). I know that my symptoms are stress related. When I am under pressure, I know it first from my bowels. I think that the general trend towards "higher performance" is taking its toll on people. I've had my first issues before I turned 25, after working too much "to prove myself". Less then ten years later I am a shadow of my former self, the earlier energy levels are a thing of the past. Take it easy people, you only have one body.


-3 Morgan Heater Lacy Kemp BarryW

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+3 Pete Roggeman rojo BarryW Beau Miller humdishum

Hi Martin, 
I can't speak for the rest of the contributors at NSMB, but I find this to be a callous comment, and can't help but wonder why you felt the need to even confess this. Of course, you're welcome to feel this way and express yourself, but quite frankly I think it's rude toward Garret and his experience. If you're just upset with me for writing it, well, that's fine. I'm not sorry for writing it. But this isn't some random story about some random person. It's a story about someone who's put in a lot of time to tell great stories in the bike industry and his situation, while not favorable for him, could save someone else's life—in fact it already has.

As a hypochondriac, you probably don't like hearing about frames and components failing either, yet that's a part of our sport, just like cancer is a part of our world. Knowledge is power, whether that's learning what bike parts are trustworthy, or whether it's learning that perfectly healthy people aren't immune to misfortune and paying attention to something that most people may have ignored for a long time could save someone's life.


+4 Niels van Kampenhout BarryW Mike Ferrentino Lacy Kemp

I’m sorry if that came out rude, that really wasn’t my intention, and I do appreciate the article for what it is. Like some other contributor said, maybe it’s an illness that I have (and maybe I’m already getting help for it) and I probably should have not written about my personal story here. That’s not going to happen again.

That said, for the reason previously mentioned, I could not finish reading the story yesterday, but I just did. I apologize if that sounded rude and I sincerely wish all the best to Garret. Some people close to me have had cancer pretty young and made it through. If you’re reading this Garret keep it up and I’m sending you positive vibes.


+4 Niels van Kampenhout humdishum Andy Eunson IslandLife

Props to you for voicing your feelings, as well as for recognizing that timing and interpretation were maybe a bit askew, and for owning your words.


+1 humdishum

Martin, thanks for your follow-up with me, and for posting this comment. It's appreciated. I'm sorry to hear about your fellow cancer-goers. It's just a really terrible thing for someone to experience. I hope you've found positive ways to be supportive and be supported. <3


+2 Lacy Kemp Pete Roggeman

Seems you're making your mental illness into a community problem. Hypochondria is an illness and while I encourage you to work with someone on that to get healthier, comments like yours sound uncaring and kind of rude. 

Some of us have real experience with similar things or even the same things. Read through the comments, you are the outlier.


+7 Niels van Kampenhout Deniz Merdano Cooper Quinn Pete Roggeman humdishum BarryW Mike Ferrentino

Hi Martin:

I've been around these parts writing about things for a long, long time.  I think why that is, is because of the freedom I have to tell the stories that I want to tell.  Many of the things that I have written about have been only tangentially related to cycling, but they have been things that I have wanted to say, or felt others might be interested in.  I think that is what has drawn other contributors here as well.  There are many, many places on the internet where people only talk about cycling and I appreciate that this is one that expands the envelope of our discussions.  Seeing the rest of the comments here, I think most people agree.  Once again it feels like the topic above was something that was likely bubbling below the surface, and it's powerful for people to hear.  Maybe somebody acts on something they were putting off?  Maybe it has an impact?

I'm torn though, because reading your comment, that sounds rough!  I can't imagine living with so much worry and angst.  And in the spirit of listening to others stories and learning about something, I'm going to ingest your comment and think about it a little bit.

At the end of the day though, part of why we're here is to tell stories.  Yours is a valid story.  Garrett's is a very valid story, that raised something that our readers definitely should be thinking about (yes, I just called you all old).  Ideally, those two things can both exist.  While this did negatively impact you, it seems to have brought something positive to a lot of other people.  I'm not sure how exactly to reconcile those two things.  I really hope you can find some peace, and if you want to tell me about it in more detail, you know where to find my e-mail.


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