|Soon after Russell was diagnosed, the Make-A-Wish Foundation gave him an opportunity to ride with Tour De France Champion (and cancer survivor) Lance Armstrong in Austin, Texas.
|Russell and Lance Armstrong pose for a photo.
MACON, Ga. — Russell Tindol, a 16-year-old cancer survivor, was the winner in the Junior’s Division (ages 15-18) at the 2010 1st Annual Macon Cycling Classic, held on May 1, in Macon, Ga.
Russell is a member of the pest control industry’s Tindol family, managing partners of Allgood Pest Solutions. His father is Mike Tindol and his grandfather is Bubba Tindol.
Mike Tindol, also a competitive bicyclist, got his son involved in the sport by enrolling Russell in Frazier Cycling, a junior cycling program started by one of his riding partners.
In 2008, at age 14, Russell crashed during a race in Greenville, S.C. After being evaluated by an on-site paramedic, he was cleared to go home. Weeks after the crash Russell complained that he was getting dizzy when he looked up. Thinking that he might have sustained a concussion, the Tindols took him for further medical tests. An MRI and CSCAN revealed an egg-sized tumor that was cutting off his air supply when he looked up. This diagnosis came just one day after his great-grandmother (and Mike’s grandmother) had passed away. Understandably, this was a difficult time for the family, but Russell showed strength and courage, remembers his cousin, Perry Tindol. “Back when everything was happening, his father Mike was having a real hard time – as were all of us – but Russell said, ‘Dad, just deal with it.’”
Russell was diagnosed on a Saturday, and on the following Tuesday he had brain surgery, followed by four rounds of chemo and 10 weeks of radiation. Mike Tindol said that he’s been proud of how Russell has handled this situation from the time of the diagnosis to the last dose of radiation. “While there was a great deal of pain and sickness from both the treatment and the disease, Russell never expressed feeling sorry for himself and never complained but rather focused on getting better,” he said.
During this trying time, Russell has not lost any passion for cycling, a sport he started at age nine. Soon after he was diagnosed, the Make-A-Wish Foundation gave Russell an opportunity to ride with Tour De France Champion (and cancer survivor) Lance Armstrong in Austin, Texas. Since then, the cancer has gone into remission.
One of Allgood Pest Solutions’ employees, Tim Bird, was so impressed with Russell that he created wrist bands in the fashion of Lance Armstrong’s ‘Live Strong’ theme, except these wrist bands featured Russell’s ‘Just Deal With It’ message. The wrist bands proved very popular at Allgood Pest Solutions and in the community.
“Until you experience it (a difficult health situation of a family member) first-hand, you don’t know how you’re going to react,” Perry Tindol said. “Russell helps keep us strong and he’s doing well now.”
In addition to cycling and other pursuits, Russell has become involved in charity work. His cycling team did a fundraiser for the Rally Foundation which supports research for childhood cancer. Russell raised the most money for Rally.