#CancerSucks has long been a social media hashtag that nearly everyone can relate to. Whether you’ve personally battled cancer, lost a loved one to cancer, or know someone who has or continues to combat the awful illness, cancer is something that affects each and every one of us in some way. At times, it might be difficult to see the light at the end of the struggle, but a team of cyclists has found a way to remain positive in the face of the beast that is cancer.
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this team of 30 cyclists took to the road to complete the 9th annual Ride to Rosemary in support of the national health campaign. The Ride to Rosemary is a charitable event that began in 2010 as a way to promote cancer awareness, encourage healthy living, and raise funds for cancer patients. Specifically, the funds raised by riders go to the WINGS Supportive Care Division at The University of Tennesse West Institute for Cancer Research, which provides everything from transportation for lifesaving treatments, spiritual support, nutritional services, screening services, and other resources to help patients throughout their cancer battles.
The cyclists began their 5-day, 525-mile journey at the West Cancer Center in Germantown, TN. That’s over 100 miles each day! Their path took them through back roads, along rough terrain, and up and over grueling hills. They peddled through towns in Mississippi and Alabama before completing the ride in Rosemary Beach along 30A in South Walton. Throughout the event, these cyclists found solidarity in the fight against cancer. They demonstrated that the human spirit is stronger than anything life can throw at it.
As they rode, the group was motivated even during the toughest times, as they thought of the strong patients battling for their lives. This effort is important to the cyclists, not only to raise awareness and money for those suffering from cancer but as a beacon of hope. Hope that a cure will be found, hope that raised funds will help those in need of services and hope that patients and their loved ones maintain the strength to endure the challenges of cancer. As a group, the WINGS riders have paved a way to work together as a community to support each other, their loved ones, and even strangers who face the difficulties and heartache caused by cancer.
The Ride to Rosemary wouldn’t be a success without the hard work of the cyclists, sponsors, donors, support teams, and volunteers. This year, over $190,000 was raised for the WINGS Supportive Care Division at UT/West Institute for Cancer Research, and everyone looks forward to seeing these funds help our warrior brothers and sisters in their valiant fight. Shout out to all the wonderful individuals who participated in this incredible event, and an even louder shout out to all those who are struggling with or have struggled with cancer. You are loved, and you are not alone!
Stay tuned for next year’s 10th annual Ride to Rosemary, and be sure to show your support by cheering on the riders and donating to this great cause.