I awoke this morning to check my e-mail and saw a CarePages update on Leslie Bohm, one of the foundering members of Bikes Belong. About a year and a half ago, Leslie found out he had brain cancer and has been fighting it ever since. Leslie's wife Lynn, who is a rock star, wrote an update that I have shared below.
After I read this, I emailed a note of encouragement to Leslie and I think he would want to hear from all of his friends. If you have been lucky enough to know Leslie over the years, he is a very special person, so take a minute to send him a note on his CarePage or via Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a list guy and here is my list as to why Leslie is a very special person:
1. Short on size, big on personality.
2. Leslie can light up a room. I have been lucky enough to know a handful of people who can illuminate a room when they walk in. Leslie is one of those special people. Big smile, the big handshake, and the booming voice out of the small man "John how are ya!!!"
3. Great note taker. I have been to a lot of Bikes Belong board meetings. No one can take notes like Leslie.
4. NRA member. This one might surprise you, but Leslie is an NRA member. He thought they did such a good job with membership and message that he joined to learn and pass along those lessons to Bikes Belong.
5. Optimist! Great leaders are optimists and Leslie is a very optimistic person. When I saw him in April and we were talking about his brain tumor he told me "John, they just don't know what to do, radiation, or just have surgery. I hope they have the surgery. Just crack my head open and get this thing out of me. That would be great!" Leslie's optimism is best seen in the bike movement he loves. No problems, only challenges, and Leslie has a strong belief that in the end, the bicycle will prevail.
6. Founding Member of Bikes Belong. Back in the day there were only a few of us from the industry who cared about advocacy. Bikes Belong was founded in the basement at the National Bike Summit back in the late 90's. Total attendance at the Bike Summit: 75. People in the room that founded Bikes Belong: 4. Leslie was one. In the years since the founding of Bikes Belong, federal funding for bikes has gone from $20 million to over $1.2 billion. Thousands of miles of trail have been built and the accomplishments of the movement are too many to list. The bicycle movement owes Leslie a big thank you.
Take a minute today and send a note to Leslie. He would love to hear from you.
We haven't updated this CarePage because it's hard to write. You've all been such wonderful support that we want you to know what's going on.
Leslie is very sick. He developed a bad staph infection from the surgery at MD Anderson, which took a while to diagnose. He had a second surgery at Boulder Community Hospital for the infection. During the process of diagnosing the infection, we learned that Leslie had tumor in a new area of the brain that was developing quickly - it didn't show up on the MRI after the surgery but was there a few weeks later.
Leslie has been a graceful inspiration in his illness. Our plan is to bring him home and bring in nursing care.
This, of course, only begins to tell the story. There are so many of you we would like to contact individually. We so appreciate all your love, your prayers, your good thoughts and kindnesses. We hope you'll pray for him, in your own way, now. We read him your notes and texts, and they bring on that Leslie smile.
Lynn, Griffin and Cooper