Nate Bueltel, also known as “NAPA Nate,” is undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer. A benefit, slated for Saturday, July 20, includes a benefit ride in honor of his own love for motorcycles.  SUBMITTED PHOTO
Nate Bueltel, also known as “NAPA Nate,” is undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer. A benefit, slated for Saturday, July 20, includes a benefit ride in honor of his own love for motorcycles. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Hit the road, wheel it for Nate.

"He loves to ride his motorcycle," said Chatfield resident Beth Horsman, speaking of her brother, Fountain resident Nate Bueltel, who is undergoing treatment for synovial cell sarcoma. This is a "very rare form of cancer that occurs in one to three individuals out of a million," she explained. "It is a high grade cancer, with no known cause."

The 28-year-old Chatfield High School alum first noticed a strange bump on his leg in April, and soon, he was spending his days receiving chemotherapy and radiation and having surgery to remove the mass.

His sister related, "Nothing hurt at all. It was just a bump on his leg. He went to the doctor, and after he's had chemotherapy, it's responded really, really well to treatment - the cancer is shrinking, and the doctor is amazed at how well it's going. Nate hasn't complained a bit."

A benefit is planned for Bueltel, who is employed at the Chatfield and Preston NAPA stores, on Saturday, July 20, and it's a chance for anyone who loves the open road to rev up motorcycles, muscle cars, convertibles, vans or "anything with wheels" and tour approximately 100 miles of scenic southeastern Minnesota.

Though Nate, known as "NAPA Nate," has health insurance, the costs of traveling to Rochester, getting prescriptions and medical bills that aren't paid by insurance have grown.

Horsman said, "He's had radiation for five weeks at a time, and then there are prescriptions he has to have. It's mainly to help with medical bills, the cost of driving to and from daily radiation and chemotherapy."

The ride departs from Fountain's community center at 11 a.m., has stops in Chatfield, Rushford, Elba and Utica, and returns to the community center by 5 p.m. A smoked pork sandwich dinner will be held after the ride and donations will be accepted for the dinner, which offers pork sandwiches, potato salad and desserts.

Additionally, a silent auction is on the itinerary, and bidding begins at 9:30 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. Items featured in the auction include a Moroccan Oil shampoo and conditioner set, Mary Kay gift baskets, Scentsy items, oil change gift certificates, some antiques, a Silver Frame Photography gift certificate, Harley Davidson baskets, a vacation basket, patio set and a carved eagle.

"We've had lots of donations from family and friends, and also from businesses in Chatfield and Preston since Nate works at NAPA in both towns," related Horsman, expressing her appreciation to donors.

She hopes the day provides a social outing for Nate, who will like being able to see his friends, family and those in the community who support him in countless ways.

"It will be nice to get all kinds of family and friends together, have a good time and show him support," Horsman added. "We're thankful for all the support we have gotten so far. It's amazing...you don't realize how many people you know until they come to help. They've done all kinds of things - donated, helped, given, just their thoughts in general."

The benefit ride, silent auction and dinner for Nate Bueltel are slated for Saturday, July 20, with vehicle registration set to start at 9:30 a.m. at the Fountain Community Center. The ride is on, rain or shine, and cost is $10 per bike or car.

To donate items for the silent auction, or for more information, one may contact Beth Horsman at (507) 251-2552, Steve at (507) 273-8051, or Whitney at (507) 440-2940.

If one is unable to attend the benefit, donations may be sent by check to the "Nate Bueltel Benefit Fund" at F&M Bank in Chatfield or Preston.