Last year, Libby Niccum Albrecht, a mother of two young girls, was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lung, a subtype of non-small cell lung cancer which tends to develop in smaller airways, such as bronchioles. She is considered stage four, as the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes, bones and liver.
As a result of her illness, and in a true spirit of community, childhood and long-time friends of Albrecht’s, including Angie Stoltz and others, began a series of campaigns, both on the ground and online, to raise funds for her treatment, which is not covered by her insurance.
Fundraising efforts thus far have included selling “love for Libby” T-shirts, lip balm and charm necklaces, as well as hosting an event to take place on Pokegama Lake in Grand Rapids in February. A GoFundMe campaign, called “Love for Libby,” has also been instrumental in the fundraising efforts, having raised more than $14,000 since it was created two months ago.
“Libby has been a close friend, our family hair stylist, and co-gymnastics parent for years,” explained Stoltz of her relationship with Albrecht. “My family would do absolutely anything for her and her family.”
That is why they have teamed up with many other friends to make the February benefit “as big as possible,” Stoltz said.
Also assisting in the fundraising efforts is Cecil “Bubba” Myers, the 2018-2019 World’s Fastest Wheelie Champion and “world’s fastest American on one wheel.”
In 2015, Myers became the first American to complete a one-kilometer wheelie at the World Wheelie Records in Elvington, a village located approximately seven miles southeast of York, England.
Myers said he went to school with Albrecht. They grew up together, he continued, and, upon hearing of her health status, he knew he had to help his childhood friend any way he could.
As a result, Myers, who in 2016 became one of only four men in the world, and the fastest American, to complete a one kilometer wheelie reaching a velocity of 197 mph in controlled conditions, has since pledged to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest motorcycle wheelie on ice on Saturday, Feb. 2.
“When I heard about [Libby’s] condition, I thought I could help raise money by attempting this ice wheelie,” he explained.
Myers said he thought the event might attract even more fundraising opportunities to ensure maximum success to help Albrecht. The funds raised by the event will help Albrecht stay at a cancer treatment facility where she will learn healthful ways of living and receive natural treatments, none of which is covered by her insurance.
“There’s an expense to her for taking this holistic approach,” Myers continued. “So I thought it would be nice to help her out. After winning the World Championships in August, I’m in good spirits, and I want to keep that feeling going, and I thought this was a good way to follow that up.”
Stoltz said “keeping this special mother of two healthy, happy, and loved is our goal for as long as we can.”
“From T-shirt sales, the benefit, the band coming to play, to the world record wheelie event, we are going all out to make this one epic day for Libby,” she continued.
This family-friendly event will be held on Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Zorbaz on Pokegama Lake in Grand Rapids. Spectators can watch from the beach or up top on the deck. While there is free admission, donations are appreciated. Sponsors are Myers Motors and Custom Design Leathers.
Following the motorcycle show, all are encouraged to attend a benefit for Albrecht at the Grand Rapids Moose Club from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. There will be silent auctions, a bake sale, big ticket items and live music by Red Dot Garage. A pulled chicken dinner with soup and coleslaw will be served for $10 a plate.
Besides trying to help Albrecht pay back her loans for the holistic treatment, any additional funds raised will be utilized for living expenses since she has not been able to work, explained Stoltz.
“Donations big or small are much appreciated,” she continued.
To volunteer, donate or for more information, call Stoltz at 218-256-1776. Donations may be dropped off at MN Direct Real Estate at 1115 NW Fourth Street in Grand Rapids, or made on the Love for Libby GoFundMe page, https://www.gofundme.com/p4n65u-love-for-libby?fbclid=IwAR3SN2TEWw5IklvHiK1kiJSfUQLnhb0fKZqT55gfHyQrezgz6b-vGCYkJbE.