For Rocky Gabel, some of the most memorable miles were on his motorcycle.
Gabel, of Valley City, N.D., created the Thundering Saints motorcycle group in memory of his late wife, Debbie. Doctors diagnosed Debbie with ovarian cancer in 2005. After her diagnosis, she took up an interest in motorcycles. When she was healthy, the couple often rode together, he on his bike and she on hers.
In 2008, after seven surgeries in three years, Debbie was too sick to ride alone. So she rode double with her husband.
In Debbie’s honor, Rocky and the Thundering Saints organize an annual motorcycle ride. Proceeds benefit local individuals fighting the battle with cancer and other nonprofit organizations.
In 2019, those funds support another cause – the Cancer Center at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. Gabel and the Thundering Saints donated $10,000 to the JRMC Cancer Center in advance of the event.
“The travel for cancer care is miserable,” Rocky said. “The JRMC Cancer Center will make a big difference.”
The JRMC Cancer Center took its first patient on June 17. JRMC expects more than 100 individuals to receive cancer care in its center each month.
The Debbie Gabel Memorial Cancer Ride is set for Saturday, July 27. The ride begins at the Valley City Eagles Club, 345 12th Ave. NE in Valley City. Sign-up is open from 9 to 11 a.m. with kickstands up at noon. Cost: $20 for riders, $10 co-pilots. There will be a $500 cash drawing for registered riders. For more information, call Rocky Gabel at (701) 490-0360. To learn more about the JRMC Cancer Center, visit www.jrmcnd.com/cancer.