Why one Bike to Beat Cancer cyclist will be riding on Sept. 17
Summer Blizzard has always been an active person but decided she was ready for a new challenge. A couple of years ago, she learned about the Bike to Beat Cancer through her husband, Chris Coslow, who races road bikes. It was a natural fit for her new challenge, as the cause has a place near and dear to her heart.
Blizzard’s mother was diagnosed with melanoma in fall 2013 and continues to be treated in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This aggressive form of cancer has grim outcomes; according to the American Cancer Society, melanoma takes one life every 52 minutes.
That’s why her mother’s diagnosis left Blizzard feeling scared, confused, anxious and even angry. Rather than ruminate on these feelings, she decided to do her part to help fight cancer in her hometown of Louisville.
“I want to make sure that others in my community have access to the same great care, assistance and education that my mom receives,” Blizzard said.
She participated in the Bike to Beat Cancer for the first time last year, having very little experience riding a bike or taking part in this kind of fundraiser. But she quickly learned the joy and sense of accomplishment that come from completing the ride.
Beyond the personal rewards, she loved going the extra mile to help her community.
“I love that you can see the Bike to Beat Cancer funds being used at Norton Healthcare, like in the rooftop meditation garden at the women’s and children’s hospital. I know firsthand that battling cancer can mean extended stays in the hospital, and something as simple as getting fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sunshine in an area close to their hospital room can make such a difference,” she said.
Blizzard’s closeness with her mother is the driving force that keeps her motivated to train and ride, especially as she prepares for her second Bike to Beat Cancer on Sept. 17, 2016.
From the time she was a little girl, her mother has engrained in her messages of hope that have encouraged Blizzard to never lose faith in herself. It is this positivity that has given Blizzard the motto by which she lives her life: “I can, and I will.”
She can and she will finish her second Bike to Beat Cancer alongside her colleagues and companions from Elmcroft Senior Living. During its first year participating, this 15-member Elmcroft team raised more than $10,000.
“What I love most about Bike to Beat Cancer is seeing people from all walks of life come together for a common purpose,” Blizzard said, adding that the variety of riders span from young children to octogenarians — many of whom are cancer survivors themselves.
“The sense of accomplishment that you get when you see the finish line and the crowds of people cheering you on is something that is hard to put into words,” Blizzard said.
There’s still time to join the 2016 Bike to Beat Cancer
You still have time to register to ride in or volunteer for the Bike to Beat Cancer, powered by Bryant Heating & Cooling.
The ride is on Sept. 17 beginning and ending at Norton Children’s Medical Center – Brownsboro. Join hundreds of others like Summer Blizzard who are biking for a cause close to their hearts. Participants can choose from four distance options: 35, 65 or 100 miles or a 5-mile Family Ride. If you aren’t a biker but want to get involved, consider becoming a volunteer. Whatever you do, you are helping those battling cancer.
Your support will help provide access to critical cancer prevention initiatives, clinical trials and survivorship programs at Norton Cancer Institute, as well as programs that encourage patients and families to approach cancer with a hopeful and educated outlook.