Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Help Andreas Knickman Fight Bone Cancer, Win Tour with Andy Hampsten

This past April I happened to meet Andreas Knickman's father, ex-professional Roy Knickman, so I am publishing this to get the word out about this fundraising event. The following information is courtesy of the Fat Cyclist which is organizing the fundraising. For all the details go here; (text below is an excerpt with some changes). If you have the means to "spread the word" please do so. Must enter by December 23rd. Thank you!

Help Andreas Knickman Fight Bone Cancer, Tour Italy with Andy-Freaking-Hampsten

By helping Andreas Knickman in his fight against cancer, you may win a tour in Italy with Andy Hampsten.

Andreas’ Story

At the end of April, 2009, Andreas began complaining of pain in his left leg above the knee. He had been skiing and cycling alot, and we thought this was an orthopedic issue. After participating in a local bike tour, we took Andreas to the orthopedic surgeon for x-rays. Nothing was found, so 4 weeks of physical therapy, ice, and ibuprofin were prescribed; then an MRI if pain hadn’t dissipated.

Andreas participated in a backpacking trip, and pain had decreased, so we thought p.t. was helping… in fact, a tumor had broken out of the bone, which can relieve pain. Three weeks after seeing the orthopedist, at a routine visit to the pediatrician, Andreas was advised to get the MRI as soon as possible. The MRI was scheduled, and in the meantime Andreas went on another backpacking trip, and participated in a computer tech camp, walking miles every day at UCLA.

On July 6th, the day the MRI was approved, the scan revealed a mass in his left distal femur; within 2 hours he was admitted to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. At the age of thirteen, on July 8, 2009, Andreas was diagnosed with metastatic osteosarcoma (bone cancer).

A single, marble-sized tumor was also found, and removed, from his left lung. Andreas completed 18 chemotherapy treatments, and surgery to remove the tumor on his leg on October 2, 2009. The femur was replaced with a Compress prosthesis and artifical knee. Pathology on the tumor returned at 75% necrosis; clear margins. MAP chemo treatment was completed Feb. 28, 2010, with no evidence of disease.

Andy Hampsten wants to help. Here’s what Andy said:

I met Roy Knickman when he was a junior racer, he joined my Levi’s/Raleigh team when we were amateurs through our pro debuts on the Levi’s team and then with the La Vie Claire team in 1986. Later we raced together for the 7-Eleven team.

A better friend or teammate does not exist.

Roy is married to Deb and they have two sons, Andreas and Bo. They live in Thousand Oaks, California, where Roy works for the Paso Robles fire department as a fireman.

Recently Roy had exhausted his allotment of days off from his work to be with Andreas during his second round of chemo. Roy went to the firehouse to tell his boss he would need to leave work to continue caring for his son, and regretted leaving such a great workplace behind. His boss told him to sit tight for a while and came back 45 minutes later to tell him his coworkers had pooled their vacation and sick days to Roy’s credit, and he now had 265 consecutive days off to take care of his son.

What You Can Win

Honestly, this story is compelling enough on its own merits. I mean, think about it: A former pro cyclist now puts his life at risk regularly in order to help other people. And now his son has cancer, and they need help. Then a legendary Grand Tour winner asks you to help him help his friend, for a cause you already care deeply about.

Well of course we’re going to help.

But then Andy sweetens the deal, by offering up an unimaginably cool prize: some lucky donor will get to join him on one of his Cinghiale bike tours of Italy (or France, depending on the tour the winner chooses).

Andy Hampsten started Cinghiale Cycling Tours 1998 two years after he retired from professional bike racing. Andy lived in a small country house in the Tuscan hills, fell in love with the local culture of making food and wine and enjoying it with family and like-minded friends.

Andy and his wife Elaine welcome cyclists and food/fun/wine-driven guests for 5 trips a year to their favorite corners of Europe. Oddly enough bikes, wine and great food seem to come from the same places.

The winner will get to select any of the following three trips:

*August 27 to September 4 in the French Alps Peaks, cols, mountains, gorges, wicked descents and pastries. Ride like Bernard and party like Eddy on this trip in France.

*Sept. 10 to 18 is our Cooking and Cycling trip in Tuscany. Their most popular trip. Tuscany in the fall with stunning rides and awesome foods. Oh and you will learn how to cook like a true Italian. Thats a skill.

*Sept. 23 to Oct. 1 is our Cooking and Chianti trip. More mad cooking skills to be taught, but with riding in the Chianti area, then a long day in the saddle to the coast for more fun next to the Med.

By the way, if you win but none of the 2011 dates work for you, Andy will let you choose a trip in 2012 instead. That should give you plenty of time to plan ahead, I think.

Helping Andreas and getting a chance at an incredible riding and eating tour with a cycling legend is easy. Just go here and click the PayPal button and donate any multiple of $5.00. For every $5.00 you donate, you get a chance at winning. It’s as easy as that. So please donate now. Must enter by December 23rd.


  1. I come over here strictly to avoid crap like the Fat Cyclist. The typical drivel of some fat, slow, middle aged, not-terribly-funny, cycling blogger. A blog that used to be interesting, but is just now some daily dumb contest or giveaway or self-horn-tooting.

    It's your blog, post up what you'd like. But this cross post -- however well intentioned it may be, and it is really well-intentioned -- is something this reader absolutely hated.

    Just to reconfirm how much I despise what the Fat Cyclist has become and how utterly unlike it is to this blog, I went back to Fatty's site and read a few post to see if it was still like it was when I left. It is. Some really fat people riding bikes, who wouldn't be fat in the least if they actually rode bikes as much as they liked leaving comments for Fatty.

  2. @Jeff: For me the focus is about Andreas Knickman.

  3. What a kind and generous offer from Andy Hampsten, BRAVO! Only wish we'd thought of it first. We worked briefly with Andy back-in-the-day with another tour company and wish him, and especially Roy and Andreas well. We've already made a donation but will not accept the prize if somehow our entry is chosen.