Sandi Pitchers Keel, also known as Dirt Barbie and a KTM rider for almost two decades, has passed away.
How Did Sandi Pitchers Keel Die?
A KTM rider for almost 20 years, Sandi Pitchers Keel passed away peacefully.
The devastating news was shared by Sandi’s Friend on Twitter,
“It’s with great sadness that we inform you all of our@Dirtbarbie0 passing.. Sands passed away a little earlier today.. and is riding the golden highway in the sky… #RipSandi.. @jeandre_lennox@ALooterContinua.”
It's with great sadness that we inform you all of our @Dirtbarbie0 passing.. Sands passed away a little earlier today.. and is riding the golden highway in the sky… #RipSandi.. 💔😭@jeandre_lennox @ALooterContinua pic.twitter.com/F8RvKva6TO
— Desiree_Laverne (@Desiree_Laverne) March 11, 2023
Southern African Dakar Group wrote a heart touching tribute on Facebook,
“Rest in peace Sandi Pitchers Keel. Sincere condolences from your #SADG family to family, friends and the motorsport community in Southern Africa. You inspired many and your fight was so brave. Ride free Sandi. You will be missed. 💔 @ktm_dirtbarbie #rip #ktmdirtbikebarbie #condolences #sadnews.”
Sandi Pitchers Keel Cause of Death
We’re sorry to have to inform you that Sandi Pitchers Keel has passed away. Sandi Pitchers Keel was regarded as having a friendly personality. The daredevil learned that she had a rare cancer after a bizarre bike accident. On December 17, 2021, Sandi’s riding buddy struck the back of her bicycle just outside Gariep Dam while they were travelling to the Eastern and Western Cape to ride the gorgeous passes. Sandi granted herself 10 days to recover at her sister’s house in Jeffreys Bay before completing the 3-day trip back to Johannesburg, even though her bike was severely damaged and would cost R38 000 to replace. Her bodily injuries also didn’t seem life-threatening. Sandi spent the entire weekend coughing, vomiting, and eventually throwing up blood before being admitted to Mulbarton Hospital on January 18, 2022, or exactly one month after her accident, or “naps,” as she likes to call them. Sandi was put on a drip, which caused her arm to swell a lot, to assist raise her sodium levels.
Doctors gave her an intravenous antibiotic to lessen the swelling, but it placed her life in danger by causing anaphylaxis shock. In Donald Gordon Hospital, Sandi underwent three debridement procedures on the arm where her drip was implanted, as well as a gastroscopy that revealed a severe infection brought on by malnutrition. Sandi was admitted on February 4th, 2022.
Doctors only discovered the cause of Sandi’s symptoms, for which she was initially admitted, after doing a number of blood tests. It was discovered that Sandi had a rare and dangerous cancer that had spread from her lungs to her brain, called neuroendocrine small cell carcinoma with paraneoplastic syndrome. Sandi’s diagnosis of Neuroendocrine Small Cell Carcinoma with Paraneoplastic Syndrome—a rare, aggressive illness that originated as lung cancer—made her stop in her tracks.
An oncologist informed Sandi that she had less than a year to live when she was released from the hospital on February 18, 2022, and advised her to live life to the fullest by crossing things off her bucket list that she had always wanted to do. Sandi sought a second opinion since she did not agree with the conclusion and the slim chance of life she had been given.
“When you give me limitations, I AM going to prove you wrong. Here’s a news flash, I don’t accept it, he isn’t the author of my destiny.”
Sandi was given the go-ahead for a specialized treatment that was suggested by medical and radiation oncologists and has shown good outcomes after consulting with a cardiologist. Sandi’s genetic heart problem, Marfan syndrome, which affects connective tissue, is unfortunately at risk from the treatment. Sandi will need to be closely watched since radiation treatment could cause her already enlarged aorta to grow even more. To treat Sandi’s tumors, medical professionals have devised a comprehensive plan that includes chemotherapy and 33 consecutive radiation treatments. Unfortunately, She passed away after long battle with Cancer.
In addition to the passion and tenacity she displayed during the most difficult months of her life, she surely established a road for women to enter and enjoy the world of riding and racing and she has done so quite successfully.
Sandi Pitchers Keel aka Dirt Barbie Biography
Sandi Pitchers Keel, also known as “DirtBarbie,” was a 58-year-old adventure seeker from Mondeor, Johannesburg. She had always taken life by the horns and is well-versed in endurance and taking the less-travelled path. Sandi had been involved in the motorcycling community for the last 18 years, competing in 1000cc superbike races as well as national Supermoto, enduro, cross-country, and a little bit of MX racing. She had even won the legendary KTM 500.
After spending 30 days in the hospital, Sandi sneaked out of her bed on February 16th, 2022, with her “rebel heart” on full show, and met her sister Tracy who was waiting in the parking lot with the engine running. To make wigs for The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), the two escaped to the IamBrett salon for virtue rather than vanity. They were determined to change Sandi’s signature platinum locks into a “short and sassy” grey do .
Her Sister said,
“Sandi is a very strong-willed and self-determined individual. She has nerves of steel which is a great attribute for her riding adventures. She strongly believes in justice for all and is willing to help anyone when she can. Even though she does not have much she is always the first to put her hand in her pocket to help someone in need.”
“After having long blonde hair, which so many admired, it was indeed my crowning glory. I knew that the journey ahead would see me losing it, so I thought why waste it when it can be put to good use to help those cancer patients that need wigs for their cancer journeys. And so it was an easy decision to make.”
Sandi returned to the hospital in full glam after dropping off her hair at CANSA around the corner from the salon. When she arrived, people’s mouths were wide open.