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Saddle Up For Cancer: Let's Ride For Bridget!

Saddle Up For Cancer: Let's Ride for Bridget!

On October 14, 2022, my dear college friend Bridget Stamos died of glioblastoma multiforme, a vicious brain tumor, after a 2.5 year valiant fight against it. Months earlier, just days after I adopted a fiery red mustang mare, Bridget told me she had only two months to live. I named my new mare Brigantia, a Celtic goddess meaning “the high one”, and nicknamed her Bridget, after my friend who was so ill. Bridget was so thrilled to have a horse named after her! Bridget the horse provided a connection to Bridget the person, and I think of my friend every time I ride.

Glioblastoma is an aggressive cancerous brain tumor that develops from cells that support and nourish neurons in the brain. The tumors can grow rapidly and attack surrounding normal brain tissue, making them especially dangerous. Despite being considered a rare disease with fewer than 50,000 cases in the U.S., glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor found in adults.

I am organizing a poker ride with my riding community in the lovely trails of Colorado to raise funds that will go directly to the Bridget T Stamos Endowment at UCI for glioblastoma research. I will ride my beloved red Bridget and wear orange, Bridget’s favorite color. I invite you to JOIN MY TEAM and ride along with me on Saturday, September 23, or ride wherever you are!

Saturday, September 23, 2023
Lory State Park, Eltuck Picnic Area
Poker Ride!
Wear orange if you have it!
Poker ride starts at 10AM, lunch, group photo, and prizes at noon at the picnic area
Horse related prizes for the best poker hands!
All are welcome!

Bridget the person had some amazing and innovative treatments at UCI, but we need more research and resources to help those afflicted stay with their loved ones longer!

You can help me support glioblastoma research and commemorate a truly unique human being by joining my team and riding on September 23 or donating today, whether you ride or not! Every dollar raised will go directly to the Bridget Thompson Stamos Endowment Fund.

Together, let's make a real impact in the fight against glioblastoma.

Our poker ride takes place on Saturday, September 23, 2023, starting at the Eltuck Picnic Area in Lory State Park. Wear orange if you have it! The ride starts at 10 AM, followed by lunch, a group photo, and prizes at noon. All are welcome!

WHAT IS A POKER RIDE? Horseback poker requires participants to visit checkpoints where they can draw a playing card. These events require participants who are riding on the back of horses to visit checkpoints. At each point, they draw a card, which they hold onto and safely deliver to the scorekeeper at the end of the ride. Since the goal here is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run, players will be given the leeway to pick five cards from the seven they’ve drawn and create the combination they think will have the highest chance of winning. The remaining two cards will be considered void and will only be used to determine a tiebreaker. In the case of a tie, the participant with the highest additional cards will be the winner. Ten through Ace will count for 10 points, while other numbered cards will count for their value.

To participate, click the "Join My Team" button at the top of this page. Select the virtual rider participant type, choose “My Challenge Day” for your virtual challenge, make sure that you are joining Team "Saddle Up For Cancer: Let's Ride For Bridget!" and complete the registration form. By registering, you will have the opportunity to fundraise and contribute to our collective impact.

NOTE: When you visit the registration page, you'll notice that the in-person UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7 at UCI Aldrich Park. Our poker ride is a SEPARATE EVENT taking place on Saturday, Sept. 23 in support of the UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge.

Bridget Celebration of Life Video

The Stamos and Thompson families are deeply saddened by the passing of Bridget Thompson Stamos MD. Wife, mother, aunt & dearest friend, our sweet Bridgie passed away peacefully on October 14th, 2022, surrounded by love and family. Bridget and her husband, Michael, lived in the beautiful city of Rolling Hills Estates of the Palos Verdes peninsula, since 1995. There they built their dream home in which Bridget could cultivate her exquisite home decorating skills. They welcomed their son, Ilias, into the world in 2001. Bridget doted on Ilias. She loved holidays, especially Halloween, and made sure the Stamos’s Halloween costumes and house decorations were beyond expectations. She always gave careful attention to detail and never missed an opportunity to honor a birthday or celebrate a special occasion for those she loved. Bridget was an avid practitioner and instructor of yoga, enjoyed running (until her knees no longer allowed this), gardening, traveling, hiking, snowshoeing, fine wine and cooking gourmet cuisine with Michael and Ilias. She adored her family, including their dogs and aquatic turtle, as well as the numerous wild birds who knew her home was always a place to find the best of bird seed treats in the county. Bridgie was an avid Jeopardy fan and continued to amaze friends with her trivia knowledge, soundly beating all who stepped up to compete with her (except Ilias!). She had joie de vivre that was contagious to all lucky enough to be in her world. Bridgie loved unconditionally and had many dear friends who surrounded her with love in time of need. She will be missed terribly. Bridgie had a thriving orchard on their property and loved tending to her roses, orchids, avocado, citrus and other fruit trees in her spare time. They traveled the world to many special places, including Ireland, Greece, Peru, Columbia, Cambodia, Thailand, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Great Britain.

Bridget Thompson Stamos MD, born Mary Bridget Thompson, was born November 4th, 1961, in Jacksonville, FL. Bridgie had a large, extended family on her father’s side with six, beloved aunts and two uncles. Her childhood was filled with quintessential visits to their family’s beach house in St. Augustine and travels to Lake Kerr, Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas. Bridget excelled at the Bolles School of Jacksonville, where she was near the top of her class, captain of the varsity cheerleading team and an accomplished cross-country runner. Bridget graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry in 1983 from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a true Tar Heel at heart, and a member of the UNC varsity cross-country team. In her junior year, Bridget watched Michael Jordan rise to stardom, taking the Tar Heels to the National Championship over Georgetown. While at UNC, Bridget developed a close, lifelong friendship with her cross-country teammates, roommates and Alpha Delta Pi sisters, Dr. Christine (Swardson) Olver and Marilou (Heavner) McFarlane.

Bridget pursued her Masters of Public Health at Emory University and earned her MD at the University of Miami (UM) Miller School of Medicine, graduating in 1988. She met her husband, Michael, while attending UM, as well as her lifelong dear friend, Dr. Sheryl Joyner. Bridget and Michael lived a busy life as residents in Miami but found time to enjoy the warm ocean, scuba diving and fishing on every possible occasion. They were married in Miami in March 1990 at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church. They then moved to New Orleans for a year during Michael’s fellowship and eventually settled in Rolling Hills Estates. Bridget specialized in internal medicine and worked as the medical director at the Motion Picture & Television Fund Westside Medical Center for a few years until the Northridge earthquake made the commute impossible. She then became a UCLA assistant professor based at Harbor-UCLA before “retiring” from clinical practice. Her colleagues and medical trainees remember her as an intelligent, kind and compassionate doctor & mentor. Bridget is survived by her husband, Dr. Michael Stamos and their son, Ilias, along with her brothers and their wives: Richard (Ducky), Olivia and their daughter, Jessee, and Robert (Bobby) and Sharon, and of course Bridgie’s beloved dogs, Dragon and Majykal. Bridget is predeceased by her parents, Dr. Richard Paul Thompson, Sr & Mary Ursula Jones Thompson. All of us will miss her dearly. Bridgie loved each person fully and will be fully missed. We are each blessed to have her amazing example to live by. Like her mother, Bridgie accepted each day with grace and gratitude. She was joyful, strong and courageous to the very end.


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