IRA Interstate Racing Association
2024 Hopf Bull Ring Showdown
The Hopf Farms Bull Ring showdown has become a yearly fixture on the Bumper to Bumper IRA schedule, that will not change in 2024 as Dean and Stacy Hopf have once again stepped up to support the series within a series. However the look and purpose of the Bull Ring Showdown is changing this season.
As some may know Stacy Hopf was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, CML for short in August of 2023. Dean and Stacy have decided that this year they want to use the Showdown to increase awareness and raise money for Leukemia. Stacy’s story is below for those who would like to learn more about just what she is going through.
I went to the doctor at the beginning of August for a medication check, however I was experiencing issues with my legs which I thought was RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). My Dr did some labs to see what my iron count was, it was high. My Dr thought that this was odd and wanted to run another lab just to rule out a bad tube or if it was contaminated. On the second tube my iron count came down a little but not much. She was still concerned. I had my physical scheduled for the following week so she said that she wanted to run a whole blood panel. Went to my physical appointment on a Wednesday and received a call from my Dr on that Friday at 3:30 that she has been confirming with an oncologist and that he would like to see me the following week. I called to schedule an appointment and they already had me scheduled for 11:30 on that Monday. By this time I wasn’t sure what to think or what to do.
Went to see the Oncologist on the following Monday, they took blood and I returned to the waiting room. That waiting room was so somber as you look around, all the people with tubes in their chests just waiting for their treatments. The nurse came out and called for me to go back, went through all the information to start and then the Dr comes in and delivers the message of you have Leukemia. At that time my body went numb and I felt like I was having an out of body experience. What was I going to do, what does this mean, am I going to die? There was not a lot of information about CML that was shared with me so I came home and joined two Facebook groups of people that had the same rare cancer that I was just diagnosed with. My husband went to sleep and I just read. I just sat and cried trying to wrap my head around my new normal.
After many challenges to start my medication I was given some samples to trial. Good thing we started with the samples as I broke out in hives and was allergic to the medication. Now mind you there are only 5 medications that treat my cancer. After a couple more challenges I decided that I needed to go to a doctor that specializes in my cancer as it's rare and I was having issues starting out. Upon going to my new cancer Dr she ordered a bone marrow sample, this did confirm that I was in the chronic stage and not the acute.
What is CML?
CML is when two chromosomes #9 & #22 for lack of better words, they reproduce with each other and create another chromosome called the Philadelphia chromosome. This is what is producing the bad blood creating the Leukimia . 10 years ago this was a death sentence. Average life span was 4 to 7 years. There have been many medical breakthroughs with medication that should make me live a long life. I will likely be on medication for the rest of my life to ensure that I can live a long life. There have been side effects such as bone pain, fatigue and nausea. Everyday is different and full of unknowns. This has been a challenge to say the least.
If there is anything that you can take away from my story, please go for your yearly physicals. They are very important and can save your life. Cancer has always been near and dear to me as I have lost many loved ones to the terrible disease. Now I too have to live with it.
This year's Bull Ring showdown will once again be contested over 5 nights starting on May 18th at the Plymouth Dirt Track. It will then move to 141 Speedway on May 26th, Beaver Dam Raceway on June 29th before returning to the Plymouth Dirt Track on July 27th and concluding on August 31st also at the Plymouth Dirt Track. If necessary September 14th at 141 and September 30th at Plymouth will be used at rain dates.
To help with their goal of raising money and awareness through the season and during the Bull Ring Showdown events Dean and Stacy in conjunction with the IRA will be doing fundraising events for Pink Heels, a non profit organization in sheboygan county. Pink Heals does fundraising and offers financial support locally to men, women and children battling cancer and other life altering diseases. The first of these fund raising efforts is the brand new Unleash The Bull On Cancer shirts. Shirts will be available in gray and black and the design will also be available in black hoodies. Also there is a rubber bracelet that can be had with a five dollar donation. Also for those who just want to make a donation there is a venmo - @stacyhopfstrong
You can preorder them right now at https://www.a-mainapparel.com/hopf
Everyone at the IRA has a story for how their lives have been touched by cancer, and as an organization we could not be more proud to have the opportunity to help in the fight against it.
Article Credit: Madeline "Chatty Madi" Schultz
Submitted By: Kim Tennyson