BENEFITING: MELANOMA RESEARCH FOUNDATION
"My friend Cleve was a prince- plain and simple. He'd give you anything from a smile to the shirt off his back. He was one of the good ones."
-- Andrew Sutherland
Cleve beat cancer the first time, so when it came back we were shocked. In his last six weeks I drove over 3,000 miles back and forth between Petaluma, California and his home in Central Point, Oregon, but I was only one of many ready to be there for Cleve. Pat White, Kevin Driskell, Yaser Metwally his wife Katie, and I took shifts caring for him around the clock. One of our more difficult tasks was to turn visitors away, because otherwise they never stopped. The people whose lives he touched over the years--working as a nurse and then a physician's assistent, mountain biking, cycling, windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba diving, playing bass in IRL, and just out and about in the Rogue Valley--all those people came by with food, cards, flowers, their musical instruments, and love. Everyone wanted to give back to the man who gave so much of himself. Hundreds of people showed up for Cleve's final birthday and released baloons in the park across from his house.
I dedicated my novel If I Should Become a Door to the lost "Yeti," Cleve Fredrick Kendell III. When we were nineteen or twenty, he and I talked about cycling across the country. Some of my best memories are my adventures with The Yeti, mountain biking, cycling, and learning to windsuf. I am dedicating my cycling journey across the country to him, so have along with YAR Literary, decided to attempt to raise money to help researchers find better ways to treat people with melanoma. We need people like Cleve. He made the world a better place.