Total dollars raised for cancer research since 2009 $2,951,878 (so far)

Karen Light

Karen LightI heard about the Ride to ConquerCancer in 2009 just a few months after I was recovering from a 10 month journey of battling a very aggressive breast cancer called Triple Negative. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I could be looking at my own mortality at 45 years old.

Anyway I saw the ad on TV and it was the first year for the ride and thought “I wonder if this was something I could do”? My girlfriend called a few days later, to ask if she could borrow my bike as she had decided to do the ride, with another friend who’s husband was just diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

It was then I knew it was something I wanted to try, so decided to let her borrow my crappy mountain bike and I went shopping for a new one.

Now the training started 13 months out of diagnoses – 2 surgeries, 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 33 rounds of radiation I knew it was time to claim my life back.

I had never been an avid cyclist, but always liked it, and had been doing spinning classes before cancer and then attempted a few during, but didn’t have much left in me for them at that time.

My first 60km training ride I was blown away to do it. There were times I wanted to pack it in, as it was not the flattest ride and I thought my lungs were going to explode and i did have to walk part of the way and now it is just another hill.

After my 1st year, the team I had ridden with collapsed, and then my friend Kate joined me the following year. We were having a great time training just the two of us, but I knew the ride would be meaningful if we had greater numbers. I knew of Jimi and his desire to grow his team, and had also felt like I knew him and Ryder as I was following their journey on Caringbridge during my illness as well. It broke my heart when Ryder lost his battle as I was pretty confident I was winning mine.

The rest is history or should I say the story continues – I AM a Rides for Ryders – and over the past 4 years my supporters have contributed over $20,000 for BC Cancer Foundation. We know it has made a difference, because with their help I kicked Cancer’s butt!