10TV's Tracy Townsend shares why she rides in Pelotonia to fight cancer
I had just come through a breast cancer diagnosis, a mastectomy and reconstruction. My cancer was discovered early thanks to my yearly mammogram.
From the moment I heard the words, “You have cancer,” I was determined to put up a fight.
When I decided to ride in my first Pelotonia six years ago, it was because I knew what it meant to be a survivor.
My procedure was in February 2011. As soon as I could get clearance, I worked with a physical therapist to regain strength and, in turn, train for the 25-mile ride that August.
On the day of the ride, it was so exciting to be among the thousands of other riders who were all committed to the same goal of ending cancer. It seemed that no sooner than I’d started riding, 25 miles had come and gone. It was just over too fast.
I made it my mission to add more miles. For the past four years, I have participated in Pelotonia at the 50-mile level as a proud member of the WBNS Peloton.
This year, I hit the five-year survivor mark and decided to celebrate by raising my ride to 100 miles. I am really nervous and working to get my mind and body in gear for this event.
It is going to be a major challenge, a literal pain-in-the-hind-parts challenge, but we simply must raise research dollars. The time is now.
Over the past five years, this cause has become more personal. Each week I am privileged to report on the breakthroughs occurring at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) during the "Toward a Cancer-Free World" segments you can see on WBNS-TV. In addition, I’ve reported on Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Summit, which included Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, and Electra Paskett, PhD, MSPH, of the OSUCCC – James.
How close are we to a cure for cancer? I really believe we are on the brink and would hate to think the only obstacle to getting us there is funding for a project to help a researcher make it happen.
It’s one thing to talk with the researchers and the doctors but another when you connect with the patients — survivors — who are holding out hope for the success of a new medication or are relieved to learn how the latest research may add years to their lives.
We’re getting closer to Pelotonia 16 too. One hundred miles is a big commitment on my bike (and that seat!).
I plan to tackle every single one …
It’s the least I can do to help the brilliant men and women who are relentlessly researching and are committed to pushing us toward a cancer-free world.