Home  /   General  /   Why I Ride: Gary Gardner
December 10, 2014

Why I Ride: Gary Gardner

Why I Ride: Gary Gardner

I met my wife, Helen, when I was 15 years old. She was my first date, and I was smitten. We were married on December 20, 1980.

Helen was the most unique, volatile person I ever met. She was smart and successful at everything she did – detailed at the very core, yet as creative as an artist. She was a successful CPA and entrepreneur, but Helen’s best feature was her kind heart. She was a great mother and supportive spouse.


Helen was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in April of 2008. We were both devastated. But Helen had a drive like no other, so after mourning the news for a few days, she dug into research to figure out how to beat this horrible disease.

When it came to fighting ovarian cancer, Helen was a force to be reckoned with, researching day and night to find a solution. She tried all kinds of therapies from homeopathic, to Reike and beyond. Helen researched worldwide to see what was new with clear cell ovarian cancer and would talk doctors into surgeries and treatments not yet tried for clear cell in the USA. She never gave up and continued to pressure doctors to treat her, even on her death bed.

Being Helen’s husband and caretaker was the most wonderful reward of my life and yet my worst nightmare. It was an honor to stand by her side as she fought ovarian cancer and was the most intimate and touching moments of my life. Yet, for the most part, it is a helpless feeling that is out of your control. My gal, the gal I loved most in the world was in trouble, and I knew I would give up everything to help her.


Helen wanted to make a difference for women fighting for their lives, just as she was. In 2012, she and three other survivors started Be the Difference Foundation to raise money and awareness to help women in the fight and find a cure. That is the type of heart she had – she wanted to help others. Even after her death, people come to me every week and tell me that Helen changed their lives.

I ride in Wheel to Survive because I want to see Be the Difference Foundation be what Helen envisioned. I believe she is looking for me to help continue the organization to carry out her vision. I ride because I do not want any family to live though this horrible disease and have to watch their mother, sister, daughter, spouse or friend suffer through such a terrible fate. I ride because I want to be the difference in the fight against ovarian cancer.


To join Gary and other riders at Wheel to Survive Lubbock 2016, please register here.