ALEXANDRIA, VA – Back in October of 2018, Christian Myers of VéloCity Bicycle Cooperative was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. After undergoing and recovering from multiple procedures and surgeries, he thought he had it beat.
“The other week I went in for a PET-CT scan to see about taking out my port from my previous bout with cancer, a routine procedure, and they told me, “Unfortunately we’ve found new cancerous bodies in your neck and shoulder,” Myers told The Zebra.
By itself, a tough diagnosis to process, but with the current COVID-19 pandemic the world is struggling with, it becomes much more serious.
Cancer and Covid Fears Combine
“Going to the grocery store is difficult and with lymphoma, you constantly have a low-grade fever. I try to balance treating that with Tylenol but I have to be careful since my immune system is compromised,” says Myers.
Some types of cancer and treatments, such as chemotherapy, can weaken your immune system and may increase your risk of any infection, including with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Dealing with a serious chronic health conditions puts someone at higher risk of developing more serious complications from contagious illnesses.
Myers expands, “I can’t go anywhere, and I’m riddled with anxiety with everything going on. As you can imagine it’s extra tough to get supplies. Especially with the things I need, supplies are cleared and simple things like hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves are hard to come by.”
Family and Community
On top of the apprehension, medical bills have quickly mounted. He admits, “My bills were crippling before and now are continuing to pile up. It’s overwhelming.” Myers’ sister, Shakaia Francois, established a GoFundMe with a goal of $60,000 to help Christian, which reads:
“Christian Needs Your Help Today! Christian Myers is now entering his second battle with cancer. Let’s support him financially so he can pay his bills and focus on healing.
As you may know, dealing with cancer means going to lots of appointments, undergoing and recovering from multiple procedures and surgeries, missing work, being in isolation and having little to no energy. The emotional roller coaster this disease brings is no fun. He can really use the support of all his friends and family right now.
Please donate today if you can, everything helps. Your kindness is very appreciated!! Let’s show him that we love him, support him and that we are in this together!! Christian, We LOVE YOU!!!! God Bless you all!
Del Ray’s ‘Bike Guy’
Fortunately, Christian knows the support he has in Alexandria, particularly the Del Ray neighborhood, where he is a mainstay. Known affectionately by many as simply “The Bike Guy”, he and buddy John Patterson co-founded Vélocity Bicycle Cooperative, 2411 Mount Vernon Avenue, as a spin-off to the non-profit viaVélo bicycle delivery and pedicab service started in 2009.
Both John and Christian saw the opportunity and demand for a community-based and volunteer-run bicycle co-op in Alexandria, Virginia to grow and empower a more inclusive biking community through affordability, education, and embracing the fun of riding.
A sign on the door now reads “Temporarily Closed,” and a message on their website explains, “We held out as long as we could, but have decided it is best to temporarily close our shop until it’s safe to re-open. We will be evaluating if there are services we can offer safely, so please keep an eye out for updates. Thanks to our loving community for continuing to support us and we’ll see you on the other side of this. We are completing repairs already in the shop and can complete emergency repairs. Please call the shop at 703-549-1108 to arrange an emergency repair or pick-up.”