Story by: Anne Cannon on October 5, 2021
Each year, Debbie Cobb would see Bike to Beat Cancer setting up from her office on the Norton Brownsboro Hospital campus. She would see the big tents going up and hear everyone on campus getting excited. One year, looking out over the tents, Debbie said, “I am going to do it!” She registered for Bike to Beat Cancer that next year.
In 2019, Debbie joined Team Rhondafied, a team formed in memory of her colleague and friend, Rhonda, who died of cancer that summer. “Everyone loved Rhonda,” Debbie said.
Debbie registered to ride 15 miles in 2019. One of her favorite parts of the ride was at packet pickup, where she participated in the tradition in ringing the Bike to Beat Cancer bell as a first-time rider.
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“I want to ring the bell every time,” Debbie said. “That was such a highlight!”
This was Debbie’s first organized ride, and she was grateful for the support and rest stops along the way. She took the ride slow, one pedal rotation at a time. As she rode, she thought about Rhonda, the patients at the Norton Cancer Institute, family members who survived cancer and those who didn’t. Crossing the finish line was a special moment for Debbie, as was receiving her medal.
“Seeing all those people cheering you on was tremendous!” Debbie said. “Getting my medal was awesome!”
In 2020, Debbie began training earlier. She mapped out her own training schedule on paper. Each week, she would add an additional mile to her training until she reached 15 miles. She trained in her neighborhood where there are hills and prepared for her ride.
Debbie encourages anyone who is thinking about registering for Bike to Beat Cancer to just “go for it.”
According to Debbie, potential participants shouldn’t sweat the fundraising component of the ride, because it is for a great cause, and their friends, family, neighbors and other connections will want to contribute. Debbie always donates to herself to get it started, and she sees it take off from there.
“Everyone has to experience the camaraderie and see Bike to Beat Cancer,” Debbie said. “I’m going to do this every year!”
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