About a year ago this month, I received an emotional call from a fellow Wickford Little League parent and longtime volunteer. His name was Dr. David (Dave) DeRuosi and the call startled me at first because our sons hung out together and I feared that something had happened to my son. Dave and I kept in touch over the years but a phone call was a bit out of the ordinary. Dave revealed a very troubling and sad fact – he had cancer, leukemia to be exact. He was an avid runner, golfer, and exerciser in addition to being a loving husband, fantastic father, and respected member of the North Kingstown sports community. Due to his illness, Dave mentioned that working out at a gym or even outside in the cold of New England winters would soon be out of the question, due to his condition. He sought my advice (I’ve been in the fitness industry for 22 years) about an indoor bike, one that he saw on Amazon, and we talked a bit about what I had in stock. Not a second later, I told him that I would be dropping off a bike to him for his use for as long as he needed it, no charge. A bike that he could ride indoors, in the comfort of his own home, so he could watch his beloved Florida Gators football on TV, with family around him to support him while he battled this horrible disease.
I vividly remember pulling up to his driveway the day I dropped off the bike. Dave met me in the garage and tearfully admitted that he couldn’t even shake my hand or hug me to show me how grateful he was. I think we compromised and “bumped” elbows instead. His son helped his Dad bring the bike indoors and we talked for a few minutes about family, sports of course, and his cancer. Without question, it was the most satisfying business transaction I had in 2017. And, it was the last time I saw Dave. Sadly, Dave passed away from cancer in February of 2018.
Dave’s wife, Anna, reached out to me over the summer to come pickup the bike I had donated to her husband. Summer schedules, start of school, driving tests, etc pushed my pickup date to yesterday. When I pulled into the driveway and saw the garage door open, I flashed back to the day I dropped off the bike and seeing Dave standing there. After putting the bike in my car and saying good-bye to Anna, I had a vision of what I should do next. This bike, which meant something more than the average bike or piece of equipment I have for sale, should be used as a instrument of healing or therapy or recovery by someone truly in need. I named the bike “Dave’s Bike.”
Dave’s Bike is going to be donated to someone who is battling cancer who needs a piece of equipment to continue to get stronger. Dave’s Bike is going to be used for fundraising a local gym or community event. Dave’s Bike is filled with the spirit of a man battling a terrible disease who was a proud community member, respected Doctor, and loving parent. I truly believe that when you ride Dave’s Bike, you will be energized emotionally by the courage of not only Dave’s battle with cancer but all who battle cancer in this world.
If you have an organization or an individual that you would to nominate to receive Dave’s Bike, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will personally deliver the bike to you and let you keep it as long as you want. No charge. My tribute to a great person who died way too young and who will be remembered, forever in my heart, as someone who would have done the same for me.