PHOENIX — “Where do you go after the diagnosis besides home on the couch and freak out,” said Chuck Keels, sitting next to his wife Hannah Wednesday at their Scottsdale home.
The Keels are preparing for a journey of inspiration. When they met and fell in love, hope was dwindling for both. Chuck had been diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer, Hannah, stage four breast cancer. But finding each other would offer a cure they didn’t know existed, igniting a relationship that spawned a decision that living their life in sorrow wasn’t the answer.
“We started the get up and live foundation here at home first and then we started coaching it because we wanted other people to get off the couch and get out of the bed, to begin living again,” said Chuck.
The two now join podcasts, hold virtual support groups, and provide a plethora of resources on their website. They work to spread the message that life doesn’t end with a difficult diagnosis, leaning on each other to provide tips and advice they’ve discovered throughout their battles.
“It actually helps me keep going too because it’s giving me a purpose too in my life,” said Hannah.
It's a purpose for healing soon heading across the country.
“I’m going to ride my bike from San Diego to St Augustine Florida,” said Chuck with a smile of disbelief.
On March 28, Chuck, who is now in remission will hop on his road bike and pedal for 75 days, trailed closely behind by Hannah in an RV. Hannah, who is still in active treatment for her cancer, will document the nearly 2,400-mile ride.
“We can be a victim in our situation, or we can be victorious, so this is really pushing ourselves, to go across the country, while I’m in active treatment,” said Hannah with excitement.
The challenge comes into focus pretty quickly though as Chuck began training, having never been an avid cyclist before.
“I remember coming home a couple times that first few weeks and laying on the floor and just lying there like what am I doing,” said Chuck.
Twenty miles a day turn to thirty, then fifty. Now on the precipice of their great journey, they’re eager to share their story and motivate anyone touched by the dreadful disease that is cancer to fight on.
There was a lot of times in that journey I didn’t think I was going to make it through, so all of the sudden now I have the ability to do these things and so I’m going to push myself to inspire other people,” said Chuck.
You can follow their journey on social media, their website and even cheer them on as they pass through the Phoenix area on April 6.