By Leesa Gabel

Re- A prefix. Used with the meaning “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion; indicating return to a previous condition.

That’s how I’m referring to this blogging hiatus….a period of Re-.

Craig and I are still as passionate as ever in our efforts to make a difference in the world around us. We’ve just been working on re-focusing, re-defining, re-evaluating, re-energizing…..all sorts of Re-.

And I’ll admit, life got busy in the House of Four Gabels and maintaining this website sank further and further down the priority list. But now that we’ve worked through our Re- period, I anticipate more activity and changes coming to this page.

So be watchful…and be prepared for the re-birth of Team WOBO!





By Leesa Gabel

I had to make a tough decision this week. Due to some recent health issues — no worries, it’s not cancer-related — I had to drop from the TNT Tucson team. I haven’t been able to get in the needed training and I really didn’t want to get out to Tucson and not be able to finish.

Yes, I’m frustrated and disappointed. One thing I’ve learned over the last couple years is that you can’t take your health for granted. I need to stop and refocus. I need to get me healthy.

It’s going to take time, this didn’t happen overnight and I can’t expect it to be fixed overnight. I have the proper tools and the knowledge…just need to put them all to good use.

Tucson will be there, Tahoe will be there, Disney will be there, Redman will be there. And one day soon, so will I and I’m going to kick some serious butt!!




By Leesa Gabel

This picture was taken during our tour of the Lance Armstrong Foundation back in March 2012. Considering all that as transpired in the last couple days, posting this picture now is like perfect timing. Three words sums up how Craig and I feel (although he will have more to say on the topic soon).



All is well

By Leesa Gabel

Life is good in the House of Four Gabels.

The summer is winding down. School starts in a few days. Tucson training is going well….could be better if the weather would cooperate. Training in 100+ degree temps is not my cup of tea….I have a basket on my road bike, I’m not hard core.

Craig and I have been spending a lot of our summer weekends at the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park watching some awesome Sporting KC soccer games. But our main reason for spending so much time out there is to help spread the message of LIVESTRONG and to help connect people affect by cancer to the care and support that they need. We’ve met wonderful people, heard amazing and inspiring stories….and have learned a lot about the sport of soccer.

Hopefully Sporting KC will make it to the playoffs so that we can continue spending time out at the park….touching lives, making a difference. If you’re ever out at a game, please stop by the LIVESTRONG tent to say hello and to add to the Tribute Banner.



Tahoe to Tucson

By Leesa Gabel

At some point after the first couple of Tahoe training rides, I came to the conclusion that my body wasn’t ready to just jump right back in to where I was in June 2010. It was a very rude awakening. So after much discussion with Craig, I decided to drop from the Tahoe team and join the Tucson team instead. The two main reasons, one: longer time to train — El Tour de Tucson isn’t until Nov. 17, and two: El Tour de Tucson is relatively flat!! Sure it’s an extra 11 miles, but it’s much, much flatter!

Training has been going well. Still getting used to being back on the bike and being active. I’ve started a new page – Adventures of the Blue Basket – there I’ll write strictly about being on my bike.



Is this thing on?

By Leesa Gabel

It’s June 19…..

There has been some life happening in the Gabel house since the last post of February 26. Obviously.

Here are the highlights…..

March: Craig and I traveled to Austin, Texas for the LIVESTRONG Leaders Conference. I did not get to meet Lance in person, but I did get to ask him a question live!! We did meet Doug Ulman! We also met so many awesome and amazingly inspirational people! We left Austin reved up and ready to spread the message of LIVESTONG in the KC area!

April: I was all about Girl Scouts for the month of April…being the Asst. Director for the Johnson County Camptennial. A three-day event celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouts…..camping and activites for 1000 area scouts. Fun times!!

May: Craig and I became the parents of a teenager!!! Please continue to pray for us. :) I also celebrated one year in remission!! Cupcakes were involved!!

June: Craig’s third time doing America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride around Lake Tahoe! Also the KS Leukemia Cup Regatta at Perry Lake was a success!! Nearly $10,000 rasied for LLS!!!

I’ll try to fill in the gaps in upcoming posts….




Back in the saddle

By Leesa Gabel

Saturday was my first time back on my bike out on the road since June 2010. And my first time using clips.

I didn’t fall and I didn’t throw up….so it was a good ride!

To see the humor in the ‘throw up’ statement you needed to be here from the moment I agreed to go buy clips. Just the thought of being connected to my bike made my stomach turn. Practicing clipping in and out with my bike on the trainer was easy. I didn’t have to think about balance, just focused on the feel and sound.

For the non-cyclists reading this….clips refer to a type of shoe and pedal. The shoe has a special connector on the bottom that clips onto the pedal. Making me and my bike, one.

Supposedly being clipped-in will help my performance. I have yet to experience this. Right now I’m most concerned with remembering to unclip or clip-out before I stop so that I don’t just fall right over.

Saturday’s ride was also a reminder as to how not flat Kansas is. And this route didn’t even get to the ‘big’ hills. While I was riding I was wondering what the people passing me in cars were thinking. I figure it was either, ‘that woman is crazy, doesn’t she know it’s barely 30 out!’ or ‘look at that woman, it’s barely 30 out and she doesn’t seem to care…good for her!’ Honestly, once I got riding, I warmed up quickly. Plus I dressed for the weather….special gloves, special shoe covers, special hat, special jacket….I was just special!

Now to make time during the week to get time on the bike in….hopefully the weather will allow for it to be out on the road.






By Leesa Gabel

In life, it’s very important to have support….to be supported.

The fourth anniversary of my cancer diagnosis is fast approaching. Since May 2008, I have discovered who my true supporters are….the people I know I can turn to at any time….the people who make up my support network. Sadly, I have also discovered who isn’t a supporter. Surprisingly, it’s people that I spent years of my life with, shared intimately personal moments in my life with who weren’t there when I needed them the most.

I have been blessed beyond words by complete strangers. One blessing that quickly comes to mind is the handmade quilt that the mother of the young woman who shaved my head when I first lost my hair to chemo made for me. I think of her fondly every time I see the quilt and I say a quick prayer of thanks to God for bringing her into my life.

Then of course there are the financial supporters who have blessed us. Not for our family personally, thankfully we’ve not needed that kind of financial support through this experience. I’m talking about the donations we’ve been given to give to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Those dollars stay here locally to help families who are in need of financial assistance. Those dollars also go to fund research. Research that is desperately needed to find a cure.

Often I am moved beyond words when I see the donation notice. It’s not about the amount….because any amount is appreciated. But it’s the person that it comes from. For example, a high school friend that we hadn’t really communicated with since 1993 sent a very generous donation after learning about my cancer journey. Completely unexpected…and appreciated beyond words.

Then there are Craig’s co-workers. They humble me. They make me feel so special. I love the stories that Craig shares after returning from big meetings or trips about how the first thing he’s asked is ‘How’s your wife?’. Having the support of people I’ve never met warms my heart.

One of the reasons I love Team in Training is because of the support. All it takes is a hug from a teammate to turn my day around.

I know that I have support. I know that I am blessed. Plain and simple.

So here’s my advice….your take-away….

Be a support to someone. It could be anything — from bringing over a meal, giving  flowers not for a special occcasion, taking them out for coffee, mailing a card or sending a quick Facebook message, email or text (those last three are free!) – to let that person know they’re on your mind.




Busy Bee and Cancer-free

By Leesa Gabel

I found out that I’m still in remission! 8+ months and counting. I cannot wait for May 9th — it’ll mark one year of being cancer-free!!!

It’s a busy year for me and it’s only January. But that’s ok. I welcome the full calendar of activities. Many of them will be done as a family and all of them are something that I am passionate about. I’m enjoying the fact that I have the energy to do all of this.

I seem to go back and forth between Queen Bee and Worker Bee roles. Right now I’m definitely a busy little worker bee.

I’m planning two major events that will take place during the first half of the year – Johnson County Girl Scout Camptennial and Kansas Leukemia Cup. Right now my focus is the Camptennial which takes place in April, The KS Leukemia Cup isn’t until June. In between there are lots of fun activities — Training for Tahoe begins Feb. 11; in March Craig and I go to Austin, TX to attend a LIVESTRONG conference; in April we’re hosting another edition of BBQ for a Cure; in May we’ll take our son to his first rock concert – Van Halen (ok, this one is purely for fun and not related to scouting or cancer).






By Leesa Gabel

I’m not good at juggling, but I am good at balancing. And that’s what I’ve been trying to do for the last two weeks — find my balance.

After a few stints with contract, freelance and part-time work over the last three years, I’ve finally returned to work full-time! I’m an Instructional Designer for Mediware – a medical software company. Ironically, the project I’ve been put on pertains to hospital blood banks….I know a thing or two about blood. Ha!

Me being back at work has been a big change in our house. Thankfully, I have the best husband in the world! Craig has an awesome domestic side and he took care of so many things around the house so that all I had to do after returning home from work is just sit and relax with the family. And my kids….I also have the best kids in the world! I went back to work right when they got off for Christmas Break. The first week they were home all day, but they got so much done….cleaned rooms, did fun projects, played together. I’ve definitely been blessed! But now, the holidays are over and school starts back at the end of the week. It’ll be another big change — getting myself and the family all ready to leave the house on time. Something that I’ve probably taken for granted over the last three years.

So now I’m working on finding balance. The right mix of work, family and other obligations. I was chosen to be a LIVESTRONG Leader again in 2012, but this year Craig will join me as one too! We’re definitely in this cancer fight together, so I can’t think of a better teammate to have!! Plus I still have Girl Scouts and Team in Training.

It’ll take balance to make all my passions work together. I don’t want to say juggle because of the possibility of ‘dropping the ball’. I don’t want that to happen. I want to make sure I’m successful at all that I do.