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My Irish dad

Dad winning some race somewhere

I’ve been called by various people the joker of the cycling industry, described as “someone who loves the sport enough to laugh at it” and I often enjoy a joke at my own expense. I’ve also been known to get into fights, yell at people, drink more than what is socially acceptable and be too competitive. For good or bad all of these traits I get from my Irish dad. He was the original, “Shit my dad says” saying the most outrageous things to get a rise out of people. My British mom passed on more sensible genes and better ears than the ones dad has protruding from his head.

Last month, just before I was about to go live on my Versus Tour de France chat, my mom called. She immediately got to the point, “Your dad has terminal lung cancer and has months to live.” Needless to say I was a little shocked.

Dad had some health issues earlier this year but nothing that suggested cancer. He is a non-smoker and an ex-pro bike racer. Now he is sitting in a chair with cancer that has taken over his lung, kidney, and liver. It has also worked it’s way into his bones causing a lot of pain and he’s taking the most morphine that you can legally have. My younger brother and sister are in England now and I join them tomorrow to help out as much as I can. As the time nears for the trip the harder it is to realize that this will be the last time I will see him alive.

My mom said dad is drawing some strength from America’s seven time Tour de France champion saying, “Lance Armstrong beat this so I can too.” He is as comfortable as he can be watching past editions of the Tour de France on the DVD player. “He’ll enjoy watching them with you.”

Right now I have no great insight into what is going on – just trying to remember all the times we had together. He told great stories of bike racing, fights and other random stories. I’ve put together a photo album for him showing him Greenville, South Carolina. One regret I do have is that he’ll never see Greenville – I think he would have liked it.

I’m not sure how much I’ll be off the radar but I’ll continue to post when or if the mood strikes.

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95 Responses to “My Irish dad”

  1. Bill Hue August 16, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    All my best. My prayers to you, your Dad and your family. I’ll miss you but will also be here when you get back.Your Pal, Bill Hue

  2. Mario - SATX August 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Neil, our prayers are with your dad and your family. Livestrong…

  3. Martha Van Inwegen August 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Neil, enjoy the days with your Dad and hold him close.

  4. Selene August 16, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Thoughts are with you Neil. You’re doing the right thing

  5. Peter August 16, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Hey Niel…good on you Mate. I was in your Sidi’s 6 years ago except my dear Dad passed away suddenly in the UK. This is one of the hardest climbs in our life…we never get over it we find a special place in our Hearts to keep them with us for ever.
    Keep us updated when you can…we will be thinking of you and your Family.

  6. claudine August 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    Oh neal, I am so sorry to hear that! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers…. Livestrong!

  7. Ross August 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Best to you and your family, Neal.

  8. Doreen August 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your father’s pain can be controlled and that you get to spend some quality time with him.

  9. Anita Weld August 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. It is a hard time, I’ve been there. There will be laughter and smiles, even through the tears. His children are his greatest legacy: each of you will carry him with you forever in your hearts and thoughts. Good Thoughts to all of you as you travel this difficult path.

  10. neilroad August 16, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    A new blog posted – this is why I’m dropping off the radar for awhile. http://neilbrowne.com/2010/08/my-irish-d

    • adammyerson August 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

      @neilroad Good luck, man. We’ll be here when you get back.

    • Serviceburo August 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

      @neilroad Best wishes to your dad & family, You do your thing – we’ll wait for you.

    • cyclinglen August 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

      @neilroad My best to you man. You’ll be in my prayers as well as your father. We’ll ride for you in Philly. #livestrong

    • kmoorejr August 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

      @neilroad keep the faith!

    • SDVeloSocial August 16, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

      @neilroad Take care, just be close and talk about pleasant memories.

    • billytall August 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

      @neilroad good luck to you and your family

    • benhund August 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

      @neilroad wish you the best on this journey.

    • ksmrunbike August 16, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

      @neilroad certainly wish you the best and know that I am thinking of and praying for you all… love you, man!

    • jumboiowan August 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

      @neilroad sorry to hear the news…thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

    • ThomasBrock August 16, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

      @neilroad – My thoughts are with you and your family.

    • Jamie August 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

      Sorry to read about your Dad’s condition, Neil. Best wishes to him, you, and your entire family. I’m glad that you all are having a chance to spend time with him – that will be good for all involved – it was for me and my Mom when my father passed away.

      Sincerely,
      Jamie R.

    • cromito August 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

      @neilroad that sucks, sorry to hear it. But you sounds like you have the right plan

    • francobikes August 16, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

      @neilroad Our thoughts go out to you and your family. Enjoy every moment you can with your father. Everything else will wait for you.

    • sarcastitom August 16, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

      @neilroad My sarcasm fails me. You and your family will find the strength you need.

    • Katy H August 16, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

      The most important thing is what you are doing-spend time with your dad. You are in our thoughts

    • grshane August 16, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

      @neilroad Good luck, wish all the best to you and your family.

    • therealfakebill August 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

      @neilroad All my best. My prayers to you, your Dad and your family. I’ll miss you but will also be here when you get back.Your Pal, Bill Hue

    • FakeBillWho August 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

      @neilroad I’ve been in your shoes and it ain’t easy. Enjoy the time your dad has left, if you can. Best wishes and Godspeed, brutha.

    • georgegeissler August 16, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

      @neilroad You, your dad, and all of your family will be in our thoughts and prayers. Be strong. #cancersucks #livestrong

    • DadBurnett7 August 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

      @neilroad Thoughts & prayers go out to you & your family.

    • BrianB714 August 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm #

      @neilroad Tough news. My best to you and your family.

    • mcr1photo August 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

      @neilroad Sorry to hear the news.

    • imacsweb August 16, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

      @neilroad All the best brother… Just be.

    • IamAuntieEm August 16, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

      @neilroad We will keep you, your dad and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

    • dpamac August 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

      @neilroad To quote my Irish grandfather, Nár laga Dia do lámh. “May God not weaken your hand”. Laugh with him. It’s what we Micks do best.

    • LalaFisherMarln August 16, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

      @neilroad All my best wishes & good energy to you & your family.

    • watmatt August 16, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

      @neilroad Do what you gotta do. Sending positive vibes to you and your family.

    • Val_ree August 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

      @neilroad So sorry to read abt ur shocking news. My thoughts & prayers go out to you, Da & your whole family. We’ll miss you in absentia.

    • jhbstache August 16, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

      @neilroad our thoughts are with you and your family

    • shellzy66 August 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

      @neilroad stay strong. i’ll say a prayer for your dad and your family.

    • ShaunaSmash August 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

      @neilroad so sorry Neil.

    • 42Mac August 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

      @neilroad My best to you and your family.

    • DeeDee315 August 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

      @neilroad Hope you guys have a safe trip. Use all your energy to support your family. We’re thinking of you.

    • danlavelle August 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

      @neilroad I lost my mother to cancer 3 yrs ago, and it was the bike that kept me from losing it. Keep your head up, ride, and spend time.

    • debbiescaife August 16, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

      @neilroad I pray that you & your Dad will have some quality time where you can remember & laugh together. I pray for comfort & peace for all

    • MarcoAledia August 16, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

      @neilroad our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Neil.

    • velogirl August 16, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

      @neilroad peaceful thoughts for you, your dad, and your family.

    • NikkiCyp August 16, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

      @neilroad Neil, huge hugs, many thoughts, and unlimited prayers to you and your family. We are all thinking about you.

    • Cycleboredom August 16, 2010 at 7:45 pm #

      @neilroad Our thoughts go out to you, your Dad and your family.

    • cyclelicious August 16, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

      @neilroad ANything I write will be stupid, but just letting you know I’m thinking of you and your dad. #cancersucks

    • velofreak August 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

      @neilroad our thoughts are with you and your family at this time.

    • zmaulik August 16, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

      @neilroad You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Travel safe and cherish the remaining time together.

    • StrongerCyclist August 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

      @neilroad sorry to hear..…thoughts and prayers are with you and your family #cancerSucks

    • brentpr August 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

      @neilroad my thoughts and prayers for you and your family

    • funrunrobbie August 16, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

      @neilroad My thoughts go to you your family and your dad. FRR

    • Cbarnes01 August 16, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

      @neilroad Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    • Ross_CJ August 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

      @neilroad Best of luck to your family.

    • KineticKoffee August 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

      @neilroad Please accept my best wishes for you and your family.

    • lowcadence August 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

      @neilroad Praying for you and your family, Neil. All of this stuff we get so caught up in seems so small at a time like this.

    • CarlRWarner August 16, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

      @neilroad My prayers are with you, your dad and your entire family.

    • CyclingNirvana August 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

      @neilroad Sorry to hear it Neil. I know what it is to lose a father. Spend some quality time with him while you can.

    • podiuminsight August 16, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

      @neilroad I know what you’re going through. My thoughts are with you & your family. Family first!

    • spencerlueders August 16, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

      @neilroad thoughts are with you and your family.

    • skarnes August 16, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

      @neilroad our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. (From the Karnes family)

    • CAGunslinger August 16, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

      @neilroad Thoughts and prayers to your family.

    • claudinemartha August 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

      @neilroad My thoughts and prayers are with you Neil and your family! Livestrong

    • charliegirl2008 August 16, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

      @neilroad So very sorry to read about your dad. My prayers go with you and your family.

    • charliegirl2008 August 16, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

      @neilroad So very sorry to read about your dad. My prayers go with you and your family.

    • Robby_Simpson August 16, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

      @neilroad Neil, thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    • Robby_Simpson August 16, 2010 at 9:40 pm #

      @neilroad Neil, thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    • SoCalCycling August 16, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

      @neilroad Neil, sorry to hear this news. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    • SoCalCycling August 16, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

      @neilroad Neil, sorry to hear this news. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    • imgrannyjane August 16, 2010 at 10:04 pm #

      @neilroad Neil, So sorry to hear the news of your Dad. Hope you enjoy your time with him, as I know he will enjoy his time with you.

    • ifiiky1 August 16, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

      @neilroad thinking of you on your journey, as you make more special cherished memories

    • boinspain August 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

      @neilroad we’re all praying for you and your family as you get through this time, Neil. It’s little help but the community is here for you.

    • vhanna26 August 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

      @neilroad My thoughts are with you an your family.

    • SSbike August 16, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

      @neilroad dude, sorry to hear about your dad – hope things go as well as they can, and that you have some more good times with him

    • 8starhat August 17, 2010 at 12:37 am #

      @neilroad So sorry to hear about your Dad. Absorb as much of him as you can – mentally, emotionally and physically. No regrets!!

    • michaeltabtabai August 17, 2010 at 12:51 am #

      @neilroad Terrible to hear. Best wishes to you and your family.

    • kattykyt August 17, 2010 at 12:55 am #

      @neilroad awwww man, that’s rough news. Sorry to hear it. Glad u can get out there 2 spend time w/ him

    • CyclingMadness August 17, 2010 at 1:35 am #

      @neilroad Oh Neil, I am sorry to hear that news. Dennis & I will be keeping you & the family in our thoughts. Enjoy your time there.

    • dwuori August 17, 2010 at 1:43 am #

      @neilroad Prayers for you and your dad, Neil.

    • ocomik August 17, 2010 at 2:38 am #

      @neilroad Wish u and ur family the best as u travel this road. #livestrong

    • jwsarge August 17, 2010 at 3:01 am #

      @neilroad Go be good. Godspeed.

    • EnocIshida August 17, 2010 at 4:14 am #

      @neilroad sorry about your dad but liveSTRONG, you will be in my thoughts now i know why you was sipping all that beer

    • jeffvolkmer August 17, 2010 at 6:40 am #

      @neilroad Really sorry to hear this Neil. I will pray for your Dad and your family.

    • marneleigh August 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

      @neilroad Sorry to hear about your father, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

    • lanasan August 18, 2010 at 12:44 am #

      @neilroad Have a stomachfullofanger that this terrible bigC is suckin’ the wheels from under your Da…and you. Suck in every moment/memory.

  11. Steve Compton August 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost my grandmother to cancer a year ago and had to make that long trip knoing it would be the last time I saw her as well. It was hard but it was also great. Enjoy the time and the memories. Take care.

  12. Michael Levine August 17, 2010 at 1:03 am #

    Neil, so sorry to hear about your dad. I’m glad that you are able to go spend time with him. You will be in our thoughts.

  13. Jodi Hall August 17, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Neil, reading and hearing about your dad over the years, I am shocked and so sad. Let him know that he has fans, too! All the best to you and your family.
    Jodi

  14. Scott O'Raw August 17, 2010 at 4:49 am #

    Like everyone else here, I am so sorry to hear about your father, Neil.

    Very best wishes to you and your family.

    Scott.

  15. Big E August 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    Hey Neil,

    I’ve always enjoyed your work. Your humor and knowledge on cycling has always been a great source of laughs and insight to me. I’m just so sorry to hear about your father’s illness. My Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer a little less than a month ago too. And like all good Mom’s she is far more concerned with how we (myself, sister, and Dad) are doing than herself. About the only thing I can say about any of this crap is that it SUCKS. And your family and friend’s are what are going to get you through all this. Always remember that your parent’s put you in this world. Loved you through and through. That will never change. And make sure that your father and mother know how much you care and love them. Jsut be there. I think that’s about the biggest thing any of us can ever do. I don’t necessarily mean in person. But fully with in spirit and love. I don’t really know where I’m going with all this. But as I hope you already know. There are a lot of people out there on this dirt clod flying through space that care and I pulling for your Dad and you too. Hang in there Buddy,

    Big E

  16. Todd Wilson August 20, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    May God be with you and your family.

  17. Cush August 31, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Thoughts are with both of you. Glad you made it back to England to enjoy some time together.

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