NARRAGANSETT- Cyclists and volunteers are joining together to help raise funds for cancer treatment at local hospitals during the 5th annual Lifecycle Ride ‘Round Rhody (RRR) bike-a-thon Aug. 11.
The mission of Lifecycle is to promote healthy, active living and support local cancer treatment.
Cyclists and volunteers of RRR are to increase the amount of money raised by the annual bike-a-thon while also increasing the organization’s fundraising efficiency. The ride will begin at Bryant University and the cyclists can choose from routes of 25, 50 or 75 miles. All three routes will have a mix of gently rolling roads and challenging climbs.
Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer survivor of 17 years, Kathy Robinson is participating in the Round Rhody bike-a-thon for the first time. Although this is Robinson’s first time riding in the RRR, she began cycling in 2006 and rides between 70 and 100 miles a week. Robinson has completed 20 Centuries, 100 mile rides, since she began cycling and her most difficult ride was the Livestrong Challenge. She is also part of various bike teams, including Spokes of Hope which is another team of cyclists fighting for the cure of cancer.
Robinson said that so far her most rewarding ride has been completing The Des Moines Registar Great Bike Ride Across Iowa and getting to dip her bike in the Mississippi on her diagnosis anniversary day last year. She became involved with the RRR because of the LifeSpan Cycle Team Captain and hematology nurse at Rhode Island Hospital Sharon Benson.
Since Robinson is a survivor and was a hematology patient at Rhode Island Hospital, she found that this ride gave her a chance to give back to the crew that treated her.
“My biggest goal with this ride is to give back and show support to the ontology physicians, technicians, nurses, patient navigators, and to the families of Rhode Island and Rhode Island Hospital, and LifeSpan in particular who were there to care of me in my time of need,” said Robinson. “The biggest payback we can give as survivors is to live healthier and more productive lives and our survivorship is what we make of it. The only way you are going to make an impact is to be part of the community and part of your family, so come make an impact, come be part of the day, come be part of the ride.”
Robinson plans on participating in the 75 mile route for the RRR and said it is going to be a challenge, but it is always worth the struggle when the ride is over.
“Any cyclist will say what attracts them to the ride is the challenge to it and the reward that that get by participating and finishing a longer and more difficult route in the end of the day,” said Robinson.
All riders of RRR are required to raise or donate a minimum of $250 in support of their participation and one hundred percent of funds raised by RRR participants help advance LIFEcycle’s mission. 85 percent of the funds will go towards a variety of cancer programs that treat patients locally and have a national impact. The remaining fifteen percent of the funds is used by LIFEcycle for the programs, services and future fundraising events. Registration for the ride is available online and will close by July 31.
“Cancer is not a journey that you go through alone. When you’re diagnosed with cancer, your family is diagnosed. And it takes a lot of support from the physicians, the nurses, the caregivers,” said Robinson. There is not a department of the hospital that you don’t go through; you encounter a lot of people. We don’t come out with survivorship on our own and it is really important to remember that and give back to those people.”
For more information on the race, visit www.lifecycleinc.org .