When Life Gives You Lemons | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

When Life Gives You Lemons

Mash them into a beer

Christian Heeb

Here's a statistic that may not sit well: Of the next eight women you see, chances are one of them either has or will get breast cancer. Of the first seven men, one of them either has or will get prostate cancer.

But why talk about cancer in a beer column? If the beer you're drinking is a No Quit Wit from Worthy Brewing, the bottle says it all. Worthy Brewing is one of the many sponsors of the 10th annual Tour des Chutes. The superhero on the bottle of No Quit Wit? That's Gary Bonacker, the founder of Tour des Chutes, and a cancer survivor himself.

The Tour des Chutes is a local ride that raises funds to support cancer survivorship programs. These programs are invaluable to cancer survivors. Most of them are run through St. Charles and include things as simple as arranging a chat over coffee, or as involved as a weekend summer camp at Suttle Lake.

This has hit home for me: In 2012, my wife and I were having a great year. We were closing on our perfect new home, when she found a lump. Then, three days after we received our keys, she had a bilateral mastectomy as the first step in the long plan that kept her alive. Two years, four surgeries, and six months of chemo later, she is surviving with continued physical therapy to combat scar tissue from the surgery sites. We personally have used the programs funded by this ride to help us along the way, and went to the summer camp last year, and also went bowling with other survivors and their families. All I remember from that event was four women casually chatting about the horrible side effects of tamoxifen. Survivors need this empathetic social support; no one else quite understands what they are going through.

The beer in honor of Gary couldn't be more fitting. No Quit Wit is very approachable; a crowd pleaser. Witbiers are great summer beers with low alcohol, bright carbonation, and a touch of sweetness. Often brewed with citrus and spices, No Quit is no exception. Worthy added oranges and coriander while Gary—in fitting symbolism—took lemons and added them to the mix. This beer will be available on July 11 at Worthy's Tour des Chutes Party. Registered riders, runners, and volunteers each receive a free pint of this refreshing brew.

This week's column isn't really about the beer. It's about how Gary Bonacker inspires and motivates those with cancer in their lives. It's about the many companies—Worthy is just one—that understand the importance of cancer support dollars staying local. It's about riding your bike or running alongside cancer survivors and handing them yellow roses as they cross the finish line. In the end, the beer isn't important. The important part is to raise your glass to these wonderful survivors, and support them in any way you can.

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