Story by: Anne Cannon on May 4, 2021
Carol Saive has been a part of Bike to Beat Cancer every year — three times as a rider and the rest as a volunteer. Now a 16-year cancer survivor, Carol first signed up to volunteer as a way to give back and help. Carol is one of the Bike to Beat Cancer’s most dedicated volunteers and kept her streak of helping even while recovering from knee surgery one year.
Carol’s favorite part of Bike to Beat Cancer is the opening ceremony.
“I get emotional every time,” Carol said of watching people from 5-year-old kids to riders in their 70s take off of on their bikes.
“I’ve got be able to do this ride,” she thought to herself when watching the riders one year.
In 2014, Carol registered to ride 35 miles in Bike to Beat Cancer for her first ride. She asked her sister, an experienced rider, to ride with her. While Carol did not heed the advice of her sister to train before the ride, she made it through the “toughest 35 miles” she’s ever ridden.
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One of the most special moments of all Carol’s Bike to Beat Cancer experiences came that same year when she crossed the finish line with her sister by her side.
“As I crossed the finish line, I was thinking about our dad and how much I miss our dad. It was so emotional for the both of us,” Carol said, recalling her father’s experience with cancer and his death a few years earlier.
Whether as a rider or volunteer, Carol is personally driven to support Bike to Beat Cancer and fulfill Norton Cancer Institute’s mission to end cancer. Besides having her own cancer journey, Carol saw her parents’ battle firsthand. Her father was diagnosed with bone, prostate and bladder cancer and passed away in 2011. Her mother passed away in 2019 after a lengthy illness with leukemia.
“As I took both my parents to treatments and watched them suffer their last few weeks, I realized I never knew how bad cancer could be. So when I’m riding, I feel like it’s the least I can do for them. They went through so much more than I am going through.”
Carol encourages anyone thinking about participating in Bike to Beat Cancer to get involved. She advises a new rider to train and pick the route that will work for them. Bike to Beat Cancer’s pit stops and everyone cheering are great supports to Carol and all riders.
As for the fundraising that comes with riding, Carol said, “Be genuine in sharing why you are riding and ask for any amount — whether it is $5 or $10. Every bit helps and adds up.”
If riding is not your thing, Carol encourages people to volunteer and join in the fun.
“I love the atmosphere at Bike to Beat Cancer. Everyone is excited to ride and just to be there,” Carol said. “There’s this amazing camaraderie with the riders and volunteers. You can’t describe it. You just have to experience it.”
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