Dan Klear and his wife, Mary Ellen, are shown bicycling while Dan took part in the Great Bicycling Challenge.
Dan Klear and his wife, Mary Ellen, are shown bicycling while Dan took part in the Great Bicycling Challenge. (Photo submitted)

GLANDORF — Dan Klear, Glandorf, rode his bike for a very special reason during June. Now that the month is over, he can look back and say it was all worth it.

For the past month Dan has taken part in the Great Cycle Challenge to fight kid’s cancer. He rode 230 miles during June in honor of his daughter, Jackie (Klear) Massey, who lost her battle to AVM (arteriovenous malformation) on February 3, 2019. “Jackie was an avid bike rider and Great Cycle Challenge participant the last several years,” Dan said.

During the challenge, Dan raised the second highest amount in Ohio and was 68th nationally. He raised nearly $5,100 for the cause. Team Jackie that includes Dan, Jackie’s husband Danny Massey and other friends and relatives rode 1,204 and raised $13,199. “Jackie always had a special place in her heart for children,” Dan said. “Especially children that were hurting in some way.” Jackie was an elementary music teacher at Lincoln Elementary School, Cedar Lake Indiana, in her ninth year of teaching when she passed away. She also gave private piano lessons.4 Dan said Jackie was always concerned about her students. “Even when she was in the hospital before she died she was worried about an upcoming talent show at the school. She said the auditions had been held but the finalists had not yet been chosen.” The talent show had been initiated at the school by Jackie.

Dan said during her life, Jackie touched the lives of many people. “During a special memorial service for her at the school over 1,000 people attended,” he said.

Dan kept friends updated on his riding journey on the Challenge site. He rode nearly 15 or more miles on each trip.

“Sometimes I would go to the cemetery where Jackie is buried,” Dan said. Other times he would ride to see family members or just enjoy the countryside. “Sometimes my wife Mary Ellen would come with me.”

Dan said his original goal was to raise $500, but he increased that as the month progressed. Last week Dan was reminded of the importance of raising money to research childhood cancer he attended, ta special Mass for six-year old Luke Haselman, that was held to celebrate Luke’s last chemo treatment.

Dan said they also plan to honor Jackie’s memory by establishing a music scholarship in her name. During the Hanover Spring Concert the band concert and three nights of the choir concert were dedicated to Jackie. She graduated from Ottawa-Glandorf in 2006.