Mary Lee Hilt

4years
Mary Lee Hilt
Riding in memory of Daughter Stephanie
Cancer is the biggest killer of kids from disease in the USA, 38 children die every week. Please donate now and support my challenge to fight kids' cancer!
I've Ridden 575.4 mi to fight kids' cancer
My Rankings
  • National: 85th
  • State: 1st in ND
I've raised $6,323 to fight kids' cancer Donate Now

I'm Riding For

Daughter Stephanie

Daughter Stephanie

'TWAS HER THINKING OF OTHERS THAT MADE YOU THINK OF HER........... At the start of my nursing career, I worked on the pediatric unit and cared for children with cancer. It was heartbreaking to see these children and their families battle this evil. After working an evening shift, I would hug and kiss my girls as they peacefully slept. So thankful they were healthy. Little did I know that my daughter, Stephanie, would one day be diagnosed with cancer. She fought a courageous battle, but sadly cancer won. Cancer seems to like my family, from siblings to cousins, aunts and uncles. My brother, Allan, passed away from pancreatic cancer. My dear sister, Sylvia, is a breast cancer survivor. From experiencing it first hand, seeing your child (no matter how young or old) go through treatments and fighting so hard for their life is devastating. This is why I ride, for every child (and adult) fighting for their life and for those who are no longer with us.

My Story

23 Jul 2022

This September, I will again be participating in the Great Cycle Challenge to fight kids' cancer!

Why? Because right now, cancer is the biggest killer of children from disease in the United States. Over 15,700 children are diagnosed every year, and sadly, 38 children die of cancer every week.

Kids should be living life, not fighting for it.

So I am raising funds through my challenge to help these kids and support Children's Cancer Research Fund to allow them to continue their work to develop lifesaving treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer.

Please support me by making a donation to give these kids the brighter futures they deserve.

Your support will change little lives.

Thank you.

My Challenge

  • Challenge completed....THANK YOU!!
    1 Oct 2022

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!

    WOW! Family, friends, supporters, I am overwhelmed and beyond grateful for your help in raising $6,272 in funds for Children's Cancer Research Fund! We did this! Every dollar raised gets our researchers closer to better treatments and even better yet, closer to a world without childhood cancer.

    You should all be proud of yourselves! I could not do this without your generosity and encouragement! Your support gave me ambition when it would fade and strength when I needed it. Every drop of sweat, every pedal stroked, every hill climbed, every aching muscle was worth the effort.

    Yesterday, September 30, I rode my last ride for this challenge and not only was it for the kids but for you! Here is just a short blog of my ride.

    It was 78 degrees, but cool with the wind. The wind was fierce without any surroundings. However, when riding on the trail when the trees wrapped around it, I hardly felt the wind. The air felt warmer. I thought of a child wrapped in a soft, fleecy blanket and finding comfort and warmth. A parent holding them, whispering how much they love them.

    I saw a couple of small, yellow butterflies fluttering in the wind and squirrels gracefully climbing the tree trunks. I saw leaves falling from the trees; yellow, brown and some still green. I saw apples that had fallen off the trees on the ground. A small rabbit running into the bush.

    Yes, it is autumn. The season for my supporters to fill their mugs with pumpkin spice lattes or hot apple cider. Put on sweaters and enjoy the crisp, cool air. Take a trip out to the Pumpkin Patch.

    I think of my challenge; One month, One goal, Fight kids' Cancer! I think of my supporters and how each one of you played a role in accomplishing this challenge. Yes, you are my heroes in invisible capes! On behalf of the children, their families and the researchers, thank you for your kindness and generosity!

    On the last day of their challenge, many riders across the country raise their bikes over their head. I was never able to raise my bike because it is too heavy. However, this year I did raise a bike, a child's bike, belonging to my granddaughter.

    Challenge completed....THANK YOU!!
    Posted 67 days ago
  • 15.7 mi ride - This ride for my sponsors/donors and the kids - Friday, September 30, 2022
    Map
    Logged this ride 68 days ago
  • 36.0 mi ride - Temp76 , sunny, no wind! - Thursday, September 29, 2022
    Map
    Logged this ride 69 days ago
  • Ride for Abby and all loved ones passed on.....Wednesday, September, 28, 2022
    29 Sep 2022

    Have you ever gotten a sign that you think may have come from above from a loved one? Or did you think it could just be coincidental? Why do I ask? While riding a few days ago, a name of a friend, who has a son that is a priest, popped into my head. Other than in church, I rarely see her.

    As my tires rounded the curve of the trail, who should I see but this friend walking her dog. I stopped her and we visited. I didn't tell her that her name just happened to appear in my head just prior to seeing her. Why would it have mattered?

    She had a beautiful dog, patiently waiting as we talked. When asked what her dog's name was, she told me it was Abby. Really?

    Today I chose to ride for and honor a young lady, named Abby, who left this earth too soon at the age of 22. She was killed in a horrendous automobile crash. Other than the day she was born, I had never met Abby. I knew I wanted to honor her with a ride. I asked her grandmother to tell me about her. She summed it up by saying Abby was faithful, kind and generous.

    Today, wearing a purple shirt, I ride the bike path along the river. Abby loved walking and rollerblading on this trail. I see people walking their dogs and think of her. She loved animals, especially dogs. She had purchased a goldendoodle from a breeder after her college graduation, unfortunately, she passed away before she could meet him.

    Her grandmother told me Abby loved flowers, little kids and always smiled. She would light up a room in the presence of others and talk to everyone, young or old, even babies. She was a kid at heart. She loved clothing with Disney and loved ladybugs.

    I take pictures of flowers, but cannot find any purple flowers, her favorite color. I find the tree and bench placed near the river in her memory. I imagine her family sitting on the bench looking out over the river. Sitting next to them is Abby's dog, who they went and got after she passed. They named him Bear. Her spirit living on in him, giving them comfort.

    This morning after mass, my husband and I went to the cemetery and visited our daughter and Abby. Abby's headstone's granite edge was trimmed with yellow flowers, ceramic ladybugs and also rocks that were painted like ladybugs. One was even painted like a purple ladybug.

    Grief is difficult. There is forever an empty hole in one's heart, but one has no choice but to go on. Abby may not be here on earth ony longer. However, I believe she is walking and rollerblading the trails in heaven, smelling the flowers and watching those ladybugs crawling on purple flowers. Visiting with those, young and old, and loving and holding those babies that also left us too soon.

    Abby, you sounded like you were a wonderful, caring person. I wished I would have gotten the chance to meet you. You will be forever loved and missed by family and friends!

    Today, not only did I ride and think of Abby, but all others that have passed on due to cancer and other illnesses, injuries/accidents, SIDS, depression and whatever may have taken your loved one.

    “Be grateful for every second of every day that you get to spend with the people you love. Life is so very precious.”

    (unknown)

    Ride for Abby and all loved ones passed on.....Wednesday, September, 28, 2022
    Posted 69 days ago
  • 21.2 mi ride - This ride for Abby and all loved ones who have passed on - Wednesday, September 28, 2022
    Map
    Logged this ride 70 days ago
  • 39.4 mi ride - 500 miles completed - Tuesday, September 27, 2022
    Map
    Logged this ride 71 days ago
  • 31.0 mi ride - Beautiful day temp 72 - Monday, September 26, 2022
    Map
    Logged this ride 72 days ago
  • Hill City to Custer....Mickelson Trail.....Wednesday, September 07, 2022
    26 Sep 2022

    (Late entry ride)

    Today we are rode the Mickelson Trail from Hill City to Custer, S.D. I pack my hydration backpack with snacks, a light jacket and plenty of water.

    The gravel on the trail is quite, evenly distributed in comparison to other parts of the trail we traveled on last year. I wasn't sure what to expect for scenery on this stretch of the trail, but I was not disappointed. I see horses grazing in the pastures, with a backdrop of trees and rocky hills and the blue sky. Lots of trees lining the trail, always nice when you need some shade from the hot sun. As expected, there are hills. What would bike riding be without hills?

    There were a fair number of people biking today. As I was slowly climbing a hill, two women passed me by rather quickly. “Gees, I wish I had their energy!” came to my thoughts. I reach the top of the hill and they were visiting with my husband. Ohhh, that is why they got so far ahead of me, E-Bikes, but quiet ones. Okay, they probably would have passed me regardless. I am slow at climbing hills, going 4 to 5 miles an hour doesn't get you too far. However, this was a stopping point for most people on this trail. Off to the side, you could see the Crazy Horse Memorial, still quite the project to be completed.

    It is a hot day. Thank goodness for my hydration pack. Don't need to stop when I need water, especially when my throat is extremely dry. Along with water, another item that is a must for me are tissues. Yup, I always get a stuffy, runny nose.

    We get to Custer, take a break, and ride on back to Hill City. Load our black bikes which are now covered with a fine sand, which makes them look pale in color.

    So my reflections as I rode comparing my needs to cancer patients' needs.

    Me: Hydration pack drinking tube when my lips and throat are dry and I need to stay hydrated

    Cancer patient: Central line tube for intravenous fluids when one is too ill to drink and gets dehydrated

    Me: Tissues to blow and wipe my nose

    Cancer patient: Tissues to wipe the tears of parents and children

    Me: Sunglasses to keep the bright sun from glaring in my eyes

    Cancer patient: If only to have the energy to go outside and enjoy the warm rays of the sun

    Me: Wishing I had an E-bike to climb those hills faster

    Cancer patient: Wishing one was healthy to be able to attempt those hills

    Me: Riding over bumpy, wooden plank bridges and wondering if I could get a flat from a splintered plank

    Cancer patient: How many more bumps in my road to recovery will I have to endure

    Me: Helmet to protect my head should I have a fall

    Cancer patient: Hat to keep me warm or cover my bald head

    Crazy Horse Monument: When will it be completed?

    Cancer patient: When will a cure be found?

    Me: Why do I do this Great Cycle Challenge? Hopefully to to find a cure or better treatment for our children. You never know if your child, grandchild or friend's child will get this devastating diagnosis.

    Cancer patient: Why do I have cancer? It's not easy fighting for my life!

    Hill City to Custer....Mickelson Trail.....Wednesday, September 07, 2022
    Posted 72 days ago
  • 24.4 mi ride - No particular destination, just riding around - Sunday, September 25, 2022
    Map
    Logged this ride 73 days ago
  • 31.4 mi ride - 400 mile challenge completed - Friday, September 23, 2022
    Map
    Logged this ride 75 days ago

My Sponsors

  • Kick Cancer's Butt Day matched donation
    “Here's your matched donation from a group of wonderful Children's Cancer Research Fund supporters. THANK YOU so much for your awesome efforts to kick cancer's butt!”
    $1,648.85
    Received this donation 83 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “A huge THANK YOU to all of you who support Children's Cancer Research and for helping myself and other riders give us that extra boost of energy and enthusiasm that we sometimes need by matching donations. Thank you dearly!”
  • Diversified Real Estate Services
    “Thanks Mary!”
    $517.50
    Received this donation 84 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “WOW! My heart is overwhelmed! Your generosity is so immensely appreciated! Thank You!!”
  • Curtis Rud Oil
    “You are amazing! Keep up the great work! Wishing u the best as u ride!”
    $258.75
    Received this donation 71 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Brent and Christina, Curtis Rud Oil, I am so grateful for your very generous donation and support to raise funds for childhood cancer research! Thank you for the kind and encouraging words. Truly appreciated!”
  • Ken and Linda Knodel
    “Mary your relentless pursuit is making a difference- all our love”
    $155.25
    Received this donation 97 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “ Linda and Ken, Thank you for the kind and supportive words. I could not do this challenge with out my supporters. You are the ones making a difference! Thank you with all of my heart for your very generous donation and supporting me every year. It truly means a lot to me!”
  • Thomas Deis
    $155.25
    Received this donation 83 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Tom, I thank you with all of my heart and with deep appreciation for your very generous donation! Your support means a lot to me. Thank you!!”
  • Brittany & Josh Sandvik
    “Go Mom! Thank you for helping support the kids again. We are so proud of you.”
    $150
    Received this donation 84 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Brittany and Josh, Thank you for your very generous donation, your support and encouragement. It is so appreciated! Love you!!”
  • Terry Hilt
    “Another year another great ride. Keep it up. You're the Best. Luv ya”
    $129.38
    Received this donation 83 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Terry, thank you for always listening to and supporting me in this challenge. Your encouragement when I need it and riding with me. I don't know if I could do it without you. Love you!”
  • DeNae Shewmake
    “You are amazing!! I love you and all of your family!”
    $124.20
    Received this donation 78 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Thank you DeNae for the kind words. Love you and your family also. Thank you for being so caring by supporting me and giving to this cause. It is so appreciated! As you know, losing a child for whatever reason is devastating. The heart always has that hole that is never completely healed. Thank you for helping fight cancer!”
  • Anonymous
    “Let’s kick cancer’s butt!! Keep rolling ML!!!”
    $124.20
    Received this donation 84 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Thank you for your generous donation! I hope one day we will be able to Kick Cancer's Butt! I'll keep rolling until I get another flat tire to change (Or shall I say for my husband to change).. ”
  • Kathy L
    “Go Mary Lee! Such a wonderful cause!”
    $124.20
    Received this donation 84 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Kathy, Thank you for always supporting this fundraiser. You are giving these children support and hope they need to keep fighting! Thank you for your donation!”
  • Kelly Fetch
    “Proud to support this effort that you put your heart and soul into, Mary Lee! These kids ate so lucky to have you on their side❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️. Keep up the wonderful work, Girl!!!”
    $124.20
    Received this donation 84 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Thank you, Kelly, for the kind words and thank you for supporting me and helping me raise money for children's cancer and research. It's my sponsors that make a difference in these children's lives. Couldn't do it without everyone's help! ”
  • Linda Lamey Volk
    $124.20
    Received this donation 83 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Linda, thank you dearly for your support and donation again this year. Your support will help give these children and their families hope for better futures! I so appreciate your kindness and giving heart!”
  • Lolly Kadrmas
    “You are such an inspiration! Go Mary Lee!!”
    $124.20
    Received this donation 84 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Thank you Lolly for always supporting me. You are such a wonderful friend! The kids would love you if they ever got to meet you! ”
  • Natalie and Josh Hadsell
    “Way to go, Mom! Thanks for all your hard work!”
    $124.20
    Received this donation 83 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Natalie and Josh, Thank you for always being there and helping me fight children's cancer. Your donation is greatly appreciated. Love you!”
  • PATTY Flohr
    $124.20
    Received this donation 101 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Patty, Thank you immensely for your donation and supporting me! Your kindness and friendship is truly appreciated!”
  • Ryan Bauer
    “Thanks Mary!”
    $124.20
    Received this donation 84 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Ryan, you are just like your mother, so caring and giving. Thank you so much for your donation and supporting my passion to help raise money for cancer research!”
  • Sylvia Bauer
    “Thanks for all the hard riding you do.”
    $124.20
    Received this donation 84 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Sylvia and Herman, You always amaze me at your generosity in helping others! Thank you for always being at my side and your donation to help with research and giving these children and their families hope for a better future!”
  • Victor Brandner
    $124.20
    Received this donation 80 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Victor, So happy to see your support and donation to help children have better futures through better treatments with ongoing research for children's cancer. Thank you! Your generosity is truly appreciated!”
  • Barb Voegele
    “Way to go Mary Lee!!! You rock!!!😊”
    $103.50
    Received this donation 98 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Barb, thank you for your spirited message! It will give me energy if I end up riding in the heat tomorrow. Note to myself.....Get up early while it is still cool. That said, thank you dearly for again supporting me and your donation. Your kindness is indeed appreciated!”
  • Beverly Owsley
    “You're doing great Mary. I know that hills are a challenge. And so is the wind.”
    $103.50
    Received this donation 79 days ago
    Mary Lee Hilt
    Mary
    “Thank you Beverly. Yes the hills and the winds are a challenge. I want to think I'm getting stronger, but there are days where I rather blame my age on my struggles. But then I have to focus on all those struggling with cancer and remind myself of the strength they have. Thank you dearly for your donation and supporting me! It means the world to me!”
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