#TigeStories: Monica Rietze
Monica Rietze's Tige story began in 2007 when her family bought a brand new 24 Ve. Monica and her family would often take the boat out to their river house in Bullhead City, AZ. Their Tige boat was a symbol of family time and memories. Several things were altered in their lives when her dad got diagnosed in 2009 with a terminal blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma, but their bond with their Tige kept growing.
Tige Boats: How did your Tige Story begin?
Monica Rietze: My family's Tige Story began in 2007 when we bought our brand new 24 Ve from the Tige dealership in Corona, CA. I grew up riding behind my cousin's Tige and my family fell in love with the boat. When we bought our boat we made monthly trips out to our river house in Bullhead City, AZ. But in 2009 my dad was diagnosed with a terminal blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. This news was devastating to my family. My dad has always said his favorite thing to do is be on the water and drive the Tige for our family. Being on our Tige boat has been more than fun trips to the river but a time for our family to bond and spend precious time together. Our monthly trips turned into a couple trips a year because my dad's health was in bad shape. In December of 2009, he underwent a stem cell transplant that was supposed to wipe his body clean and replace it with new stem cells. Through all the painful process we found out that it didn't work. Despite many hospital trips, all my dad wants to do when he gets out of the hospital is go straight to the river (this has happened 3 times by the way). The minute he was discharged from being in the hospital for a week we would go home pack up and head out to the river. Now that's what I call dedication!
TB:Your dad has been through a lot, how has your family time on your Tige benefited his recovery?
M.R:Our Tige has a special place in our hearts. It represents a sense of my dad's heart because he bought it to spend more time with our family. He really looks forward to driving the boat and being on the water. We are going on year 5 of my dad battling his cancer and the recovery process seems to be regressing. We have fewer river trips now and even when we go many times my dad can't come out on the boat. But whenever he can it is a blessing and such a special time for us all.
TB: How has being a Tige owner helped you through your struggle?
M.R: The river has always been my favorite place. I love being on my boat on the open water. It gives me a sense of calmness and helps my life slow down. The Tige brand has always been important in our family. For father's day this year I entered the Tige instagram giveaway by uploading a picture of my dad and our family on our Tige. Tige responded and sent my dad and I some free gear and t-shirts. When I told my dad about the contest and that his Father's Day present was a free Tige shirt, the smile on his face was priceless. When it came in the mail with a hand written card I couldn't believe that a large company would take the time to write a handwritten note. My dad was really not feeling well that week and it brought smiles in our home and it was very special to us.
TB: What is your favorite memory riding behind a Tige?
M.R. I'll never forget the first time I cleared the wake wakeboarding! I was probably a freshmen in high school. Although I loved wakeboarding I have 3 brothers and a million guy cousins who would be shouting at me to keep jumping and keep trying. Fall after fall, face plant after face plant, I FINALLY did it! Everyone in the boat cheered and it was one of the best feelings.
TB: If you could take your Tige anywhere, where would it be?
M.R: I would take my Tige to Lake Shasta. Since Tige was born in Cali I would take it to the number one lake for wakeboarding! Never been there and I hear it’s beautiful.
TB: Would you like to give a shout out?
M.R: Firstly I would like to give credit to God for taking care of our family and providing for us continually. Secondly, I would like to shout out to the Schramm Family who introduced us to Tige many years ago. Without your boat and hospitality I don't know if we would have ever owned a Tige. Lastly, I would like to shout out to Parks Bonifay for being such an inspiration to wakeboaders everywhere! My brother admires you so much that he named his Son Parker, we call him baby Parks. :)