Ann Arbor Breast Cancer “Thriver Survival” Cycling 240 Miles For Cancer Research
ANN ARBOR, MI – Ann Arbor’s Nancy Eavy remembers looking up a large hill, unsure if she could ride a bike.
Then she felt a gentle hand on her back about three-quarters of the way up.
“I looked to the left and it was a support driver,” said Eavy. “And he just said, ‘I’m here to help you, you can do that. Let’s go together. ‘”
And she rode up.
Eavy is now training for a 240 mile bike ride to raise funds for cancer research. She is a breast cancer survivor herself and sees similarities between fighting breast cancer and her bike training.
“Sometimes it just happens on the side (a cancer patient). Be that support, put your hand on someone’s back (and) say a few words, ”she said. “You don’t always have to hear multiple answers and opinions, sometimes it’s just presence that helps you navigate your journey.”
All parts of her life came together in 2008, Eavy said. She was pregnant with her first child and had a nurse – the job of a lifetime. Then she had suspicious results from a routine mammogram.
Her official breast cancer diagnosis after a biopsy came this year only after the birth of her healthy daughter.
Today Eavy is cancer free.
In September, she joins more than 200 other Bristol Meyers Squibb employees on Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer, a cycling team that runs from the Oregon coast to the New Jersey coast. The ride raises funds for cancer research, and every dollar up to $ 500,000 is matched by Bristol Meyers Squibb.
The goal of the staff is to raise $ 1 million and each participant has a goal of $ 5,000 each. Eavy is currently at $ 2,470 of her $ 5,000 goal.
Eavy will drive 240 miles over three days starting September 20th. She will cycle approximately 60 to 80 miles from Denver, Colorado to Kansas City, Missouri every day before handing the baton on to a teammate.
Eavy said she loves her stationary bike, so cycling on the street was a learning curve.
“Cancer has got me out of my comfort zone (and) cycling is getting me out of my comfort zone,” she said.
Training for such a strenuous drive left Eavy with lots of bumps and bruises. She said that she wanted to give up on the way and added that while training she said, “Oh my god, what did I sign up for? I think cancer is easier than this bike. Sometimes I really thought so, “she said.
But Eavy said her attitude was, “You go and do it and you give it your all,” she said. Your maximum driving ability is currently 60 miles.
Just like her cancer journey, training requires adjustment, she said.
“In this workout, I notice it when I drive down a street and see a tree trunk or a bump or a branch from a storm in the way. I think about the trip, ”said Eavy. “Oh my god, it’s kind of like the journey: you ride, life is going great, and suddenly there is a bump in the road. And I don’t know what to do And then you turn around and go in a different direction, or you have to stop and rethink and leave. So there are a lot of these similarities in all of this training. “
While her personal journey has inspired her, it also travels for those who have been affected by cancer, either experienced it firsthand or knows someone who has.
Every dollar donated for the overland trip goes to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, Eavy said.
“I think that’s a nice thing and people can know that their money is going to be used for a good cause,” she said.
To donate to Nancy’s cause, click here.
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