Huck Cancer

by | November 30, 2016, 7:00am 0

Ryan West once rode a tandem bicycle on the bottom of a pool in Sarasota. Naked. Instead of playing at 2007 Nationals.

Ryan West once subsisted on nothing but eggnog for two weeks.

Ryan West loves puppets so much, the Muppets flash mobbed his wedding.

Ryan West is so fast, he’s outrun 4 ACLs playing ultimate.

Ryan West throws a party so well you can’t remember anything other than having the time of your life.

Ryan West punches so hard, his own elbows literally can’t even. Especially when blindfold boxing at Fools Fest.

Ryan West is a nude model, despite his hatred of being naked. In his own calendar.

To explain that last one, and really all of them, I belong to a group of friends that are simultaneously obnoxious and wonderful. Loving each other while being incredibly mean to each other. We all met playing Ultimate: Green Eggs and Ham (SUNY Buffalo) and SCAM (SUNY Albany) cemented our bromance by rolling thirty deep to parties throughout college, and we’ve since gone on to play on various teams like Bashing Piñatas, Metro North, Bad Eggs and SCUM. Now we’re back again, but this time it’s to help one of our own.

I will never forget where I was standing when Ryan West told me he had colorectal cancer: in a little town in Vermont on a bike trip from Boston to Montreal. I will never forget the mix of confusion, anger, helplessness and sadness. I will never forget how these feelings only intensified when test after test, the diagnosis got worse. Stage IV colorectal cancer at 32. How could this happen to one of my best friends this early? It seemed unbelievable.

When his diagnosis was revealed to the general community, the response was overwhelming. We threw fundraisers and parties to support his cause, and people gave generously. To Ryan’s great embarrassment, we presented him with a giant novelty check. Ryan started chemo. Life normalized itself, as it does. We made cancer jokes, because it would be tragic if it wasn’t funny. We went to Fools Fest by way of the hospital to pick him up after an infusion. We folded 2,276 origami paper cranes and presented them to him the day before Christmas Eve, in what felt like the tiniest restaurant in New York. Ryan married the love of his life, partied harder and longer through the night than many of his guests. We all did everything we could to keep life the same.

Too many of us know how hard it is to sit on the sidelines and watch someone we love struggle with cancer. Perhaps the worst thing is just how much more we wish we could do. But when it comes down to it, it’s Ryan’s fight: he is the one who has to take the infusions of chemo, he is the one who has to deal with the nausea, pain and other side effects. He is the one who has to battle for his life.

When one of our friends suggested we do a risqué calendar to try to raise money to support Ryan’s medical expenses, we sent out the call to our crew–some of who took part in the second place Metro North finish this past year, others who have gone on to play for PoNY, Bent, Brute Squad, Ironside, Truck Stop and more. Among those asked, the response was unanimous: “For Ryan? Of course!” We’ve put together a calendar that hopefully has the correct dates on it, a few good photos, and is definitely for a good cause.


If you know us, or at least of us (be it from Fools Fest and Blindfold Boxing), horse races or have played against us in the past) and love us or hate us, you can at least have a chuckle at some borderline inappropriate photos for not a lot of money. If you don’t know of us, but are fans of the players you’ve seen on TV, you too can own nude photos of Chris Mazur.

Personally, I’m buying the calendars as white elephant gifts this year. Because the least we can do from this shitty situation is salvage a few laughs, and because doing anything else would be letting cancer define us. Huck Cancer.

Sales close soon in order to get the calendars shipped before the end of the year. Order your calendar today at — payment can be made via PayPal.

Questions? Contact Lena Palmer at

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