Cyclist Rides to Fight Grim Cancer Prognosis

He belongs to a dozen other advocacy groups and has dedicated his six-year fight to clinical trials, hoping to help others find cures.

"They are expensive and difficult to run," he said. "It takes patients and patience. Oftentimes insurance doesn't cover. But this is the only way to know if a drug works. Otherwise it's a crap shoot."

Youner will soon start proton beam treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He said his hope springs from helping others.

"I am not cured, and believe it or not, I hate cancer," he said. "But I have done things I would never have done if I didn't have cancer."

But he also credits cycling with giving him much of his positive spirit.

"Bike people are lunatics," he said. "I think it's the one reason I am alive today."

"I've been to the gates of hell," Youner said, paraphrasing his favorite singer, Tom Petty. "And I won't back down."

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