Mary Lee Hilt

Mary Lee Hilt
Riding in memory of Daughter Stephanie, brother Allan.......Sister Sylvia, who just finished her cancer treatment.
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 601.0 mi to fight kids' cancer
My Rankings
  • National: 151st
  • State: 1st in ND
I've raised $5,443.09 to fight kids' cancer Donate Now

I'm Riding For

Daughter Stephanie, brother Allan.......Sister Sylvia, who just finished her cancer treatment.

Daughter Stephanie, brother Allan.......Sister Sylvia, who just finished her cancer treatment.

'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, just finished breast cancer treatment. 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 left this earth too soon.

My Story

3 Aug 2021

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

  • October 1st, 2021 Thank you!
    2 Oct 2021

    My bike challenge for the Great Cycle Challenge for Children's Cancer Research Fund finished yesterday.

    This blog is important to me because I get to thank all of my kind hearted and giving supporters! I am so proud to have you on what I consider a team! You are all awesome!!

    Thank you!....Thank you!....Thank you!

    Without you, I could not have done this. We did it together! That is the reason for the picture of the jerseys. You should all be wearing one.

    We should all be very proud of ourselves for helping fight kid's cancer. So little (only 4%) of federal funding for cancer research goes for pediatric cancer. Your contributions help immensely for research in cancers like brain tumors, sarcomas, leukemia and others.

    These children have to have courage. They have so many hurdles to get over. They and their families are riding on an emotional roller coaster.

    I think of the leukemia patients I cared for as a nurse years ago and wonder how different their treatments are today. As with all kinds of other medical conditions, whether it is premature babies or adults, research is so important!

    My daughter was 21 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer. Not a child anymore, but I will never forget those words when she phoned me and said, “Mom, I have cancer.” Thankfully, her father was in Fargo that day and accompanied her to the clinic after they called her to come in to give her the devastating news. I think about my grandchildren, grandnieces, grandnephews and all other children. I pray their parents never have to hear those terrifying words.

    Again, thank you for your love and support!

    October 1st, 2021      Thank you!
    Posted 21 days ago
  • September 30....Last ride of bike challenge
    1 Oct 2021

    My last day of biking for this challenge and I knew I needed to include my supporters as part of my ride, because without you I couldn't do this. So today's ride was for the kids, daughter Stephanie, brother Allan, sister Sylvia and all of my awesome supporters.

    If only my bike could talk back to me when I ask where should we ride today? I really do need to give it a name. Well, because I'm not an early riser, I thought we will ride out to Fort Lincoln, not Lake Harmon, like I was thinking the night before. It was a beautiful day, in the 70's, but always have some wind to go against here and there.

    I get to Fort Lincoln and I don't see as many grasshoppers today as I usually do. I have to be honest, the first time I saw one flutter by me with it's black wings outlined by a band of yellow, I thought it was a butterfly. I'm looking for one particular color of one, but noted they were all black. A bit unusual I thought. As I ride and look at the pavement I now see a lot of grasshoppers, airlifting with their wings, which are black with a yellow band. Sad disappointment for me. Where are the butterflies?

    Grasshoppers are one reason you need to wear eyewear. Just like that, you get one that smacks you right in your glasses. And keep your mouth closed when riding because you never know when you will ride in a swarm of gnats. Quite a mouthfull too handle. I relate the smacking like getting told you have cancer. Smack, out of nowhere you hear that word. Instead of a mouthfull, it's quite an earfull to handle.

    I go to the campsite and there are campers there. Ride back up to the main area, sit on the bench and eat my cliff bar. So peaceful here. Just relax, no worries. Quite different than families constantly worrying about their children with cancer.

    I turn back, thinking I would like to get more miles in. I ride pass the tree in the middle of the road. I'm still determined to get more miles. So I decide to head toward the University of Mary, but will stop at the foot of the long, inclining, steep hill. I get there, but I need to keep going. Cancer patients can't just stop. I'm pedaling and I feel like I'm getting tapped on my shoulders by two angels, one in purple and one in blue. They're telling me, “Keep pedaling. Keep an eye out for that sign. You can do it!”

    I don't know if my legs are getting stronger or those silent words of encouragement got me pedaling up that hill faster than I ever did before. Encouragement, we all need it time and again!

    I return to the park and see the beautiful fall colors of the trees. More fallen leaves on the trail today. Another new season, another new chapter in a newly diagnosed cancer patient.

    I ride pass the zoo and on to home. I made my new goal of 600 miles for this challenge. Praying every cancer patient reaches their goal and gets to ring that bell after their challenge of treatments are completed.

    September 30....Last ride of bike challenge
    Posted 22 days ago
  • 55.2 mi ride - This ride was not only for the kids, Stephanie, Allan and Sylvia, but my wonderful supporters too! - Thursday, September 30, 2021
    Logged this ride 22 days ago
  • Tuesday, September 28th Today's ride was for Abby
    29 Sep 2021

    Today's ride was for a special friend's granddaughter, Abby.

    Cancer is personal to me, and that is why I ride in September for childrens' cancer. However, today I rode for a different reason.

    On February 4th, 1993, I attended a C-section of a dear co-worker's grandchild. I was the first one to hold that baby girl when the physician placed her in my arms to carry her to the warmer. She was given the name Abby. Today I wore purple, her favorite color, to honor and ride in memory of her. Abby, at the age of 22, left this world too soon, after a tragic car accident.

    Today, I rode to the University of Mary, where Abby had just finished her studies to start her career, but sadly never had that chance. The parking lot on the campus was filled with cars. More cars than I have seen before when riding there. I rode to my favorite spot, The Marion Grotto. A place I always find serene and calming. I lit a candle for Abby and prayed. Just as I carried her to the warmer, I believe an angel carried her to her final destination, heaven.

    Her grandmother told me she was not far away from Stephanie, which I never realized, so this evening I went to visit Abby at the cemetery,

    It is often said that time heals the pain of losing someone you love. Perhaps it softens it a little, but the pain never goes away. What choice do you have, but to learn to live with it.

    Abby, you may be gone from sight, but never gone from the hearts of your family and friends. You will be forever missed!

    Tuesday, September 28th  Today's ride was for Abby
    Posted 24 days ago
  • 30.7 mi ride - Today’s ride was for Abby! - Tuesday, September 28, 2021
    Logged this ride 25 days ago
  • 7.7 mi ride - Continuation of Paul Bunyan Trail (didn’t unpause GCC app) - Sunday, September 26, 2021
    Logged this ride 26 days ago
  • 38.5 mi ride - Day 2 Paul Bunyan trail. Riding for the kids - Sunday, September 26, 2021
    Logged this ride 27 days ago
  • 65.4 mi ride - Paul Bunyan Trail. This ride was for Stephanie - Saturday, September 25, 2021
    Logged this ride 28 days ago
  • Wednesday, September 22nd.......400 mile goal completed
    23 Sep 2021

    400 miles...goal completed. But is it? Does that mean I can just stop and sit back? September is not over. So I am not done. I will continue to ride. Cancer doesn't stop.

    So this blog is about my second ride today.

    Today I traveled down to the trail with the huge cottonwood tree in the middle of the road. I think to many Bismarck residents it's quite special/unique It's a great land mark to give people if you want to tell them what area of town you live in. Where abouts do you live in Bismarck? I live in the area where that tree is in the middle of the road. Everyone knows what area you are talking about then.

    We had many cottonwood trees when I was growing up on the farm. Climbing on their large branches and sitting on them. pretending we were riding a horse, having picnics under them. You can't under this tree. It's in the middle of the road.

    So there it is, standing all alone in the middle of the road. Cars driving around it. Walkers, joggers, bikers passing by it, enjoying the fresh air. I wondered if birds ever made nests in that tree. If squirrels scurried up it. As I rode passed it, I noted that there were evergreens and elm trees in back yards with fences surrounding them.

    'I am sure those who are reading this are wondering what is my point. I guess it is feeling alone. You are told you have cancer and your world falls apart. People are aware of your illness, will come and visit you, give you gifts/cards, but their world continues on. Your world has now taken a different direction. It's falling apart. You are now having to take a different path than you wanted too. Sometimes you just need to be alone and let your tears out. However, we will still wrap our arms around you and tell you that you will get through this. We will sit with you quitely if that's what you want.

    Because cancer is personal to me, this is what my blogs are about. However, these scenerios can go with any situation or hardship in life. Loosing someone you love unexpectedly, finding out about some other horrible event in your life, etc, can all cause that sense of loneliness. We will all need some support sometime in our lives.

    Wednesday, September 22nd.......400 mile goal completed
    Posted 30 days ago
  • Riding in memory of our daughters
    23 Sep 2021

    Many years ago, working on the pediatrics floor, I had taken care of a little girl named Alyssa, who had leukemia. I often thought of this sweet girl while riding for the Great Cycle Challenge. When I recognized her mother, Sheila, who was also riding for the Great Cycle Challenge, we reconnected. Today we rode together to honor the memories of our daughters, Alyssa and Stephanie. It definitely was a special ride!

    Riding in memory of our daughters
    Posted 30 days ago
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