Dick started treatment again but in November of 2006 they ran into more problems. Julie said, "The test results came back and the doctors told him the cancer had taken over his liver and was spreading to his lungs. My husband passed away on Nov. 28, 2006."
Dick and Julie celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary just weeks before his death.
Julie said, "The 20 plus years we were together, so many beautiful words come to my mind to describe my husband's life. My husband had an extraordinary passion for life that was contagious to all around him. His circle of friends was wide. He was committed to being a good husband, father, friend, and advocate for all those with cancer."
Dick's close friend, Scott Grimshaw, said, "Dick was without a doubt one of the most upbeat, friendly, and enthusiastic people I have ever met. He never had a bad word to say about anyone, and always was very positive about things.
"This race is a tribute to a great human being. I want everyone to know that life is about living it to the fullest, something Dick did all of the time. A bicycle race is fitting since the Lance Armstrong ride was so important to him in his final years," Grimshaw said.
Race registration forms can be picked up at the Skaneateles Community Center, the Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce, and the Auburn YMCA. For online registration, a waiver form may be filled out that will act as a registration form at www.usacycling.org/forms/waiver.php?url+rider_release.pdf.
Pre-registration will be available until May 21 and cost $15. Racers can also register the day of the race from 7 to 7:45 a.m. with a fee of $20. The four-mile fun ride is a free event. Donations will be accepted and 100 percent of all proceeds will go to cancer research.
The first 30 entrants for the 24-mile race will receive a free T-shirt and all race or ride finishers will receive a free sports bottle. Additional T-shirts may be purchased for $10 each while supplies last.
Photo: From left to right, Julie Shaffer, Lance Armstrong, Dick Shaffer, Nathan Shaffer, and Matthew Shaffer pictured after Dick completed the 2005 Tour of Hope ride across America.