EDMORE — After a 10-year battle with leukemia with several bouts of chemotherapy, experimental drugs and a bone marrow transplant, Deanna “Dee” Moore of Edmore lost the fight on Feb. 8, 2011.
Moore’s grandson, Garrett Lumbert of Blanchard, is organizing Dee’s Derby — a Fred Meijer Heartland Trail bike tour on Saturday to support the Leukemia Foundation — in honor of his grandmother. The ride begins at Gale’s Gym in Edmore with round-trip options to Vestaburg (12 miles), Riverdale (20 miles) and Alma (40 miles).
Lumbert described his family as “tight knit,” spending much of his childhood in the company of his grandparents. In 2001, at the age of 6, Garrett began to witness the effects of leukemia as Moore was diagnosed and began treatment. He said it was hard to watch her go through it. At the onset of Moore’s illness, their time together became even more meaningful.
“We would spend almost every Wednesday night together,” Lumbert said of his relationship with his grandmother. “We would talk almost every day … about everything. We were very close. And we would sometimes cook together.”
As a senior at Montabella High School, Lumbert is organizing Dee’s Derby to support the Leukemia Foundation, as well as to complete a graduation requirement. He will document the entire event planning process in a portfolio, develop a PowerPoint and compose an essay on the history of the American Red Cross. Lumbert will present his project to a panel of three to four judges later this fall.
“Staying committed to school is more important to me now,” Lumbert said. “During one of the last conversations grandma and I had, she told me how important it was that I walk at graduation. It helps me keep focused on my goals.”
Lumbert works part time at Main Street Pizza in downtown Edmore. His goals are to not only graduate high school next year, but to attend college to study film. He plans to begin at Montcalm Community College with hopes to eventually attend school in a big city, perhaps Chicago or New York City.
Biking has always been a favorite family activity for Lumbert. His grandmother enjoyed biking before her illness. As he makes final preparations for Dee’s Derby, his family members — grandfather Dennis Moore, uncle Brandon Moore, mother Bridgette and aunts and uncles — are gearing up to support the event. They will wear gold T-shirts which say “In loving memory of Deanna Moore” on the back.
On-site registration for Dee’s Derby begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at Gale’s Gym, located at 1379 Industrial Drive in Edmore. The Alma ride departs at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Riverdale ride at 9 a.m. and the Vestaburg ride at 9:30 p.m.
Participants will receive a T-shirt and lunch with their $25 registration fee. Business or individual sponsorship opportunities are available.
To pre-register or request more information, call Garrett Lumbert at (989) 506-8276 or Gale at Gale’s Gym at (989) 427-4FIT (4348).