Ending Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month With A Bang – I’m A Century Rider!

That’s right y’all, I ended Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month with a BANG, for a DAMN good cause – who would have ever thought two years ago at this time, I’d now be calling myself a Century Rider (I couldn’t ride last year, I’d just had a drain placed)?!?  For the past 5 months I’ve gone from someone who had a bike and literally NEVER rode it, to riding 100 miles in one day, for cancer research through Pedal the Cause  – an organization I was familiar with, but really didn’t know that much about and had no idea it’d become one I’d have a significant amount of involvement with.

So wait, you rode 100 miles in one day?? Yep, I did!  Buy why, couldn’t you have ridden a shorter course?? Yep, I could have…but that wouldn’t have been my style.  So why’d you do it?? Oh that’s simple, by now you should know the answer to that…because I can, because I have a body that although it puts me through the ringer emotionally and physically, that is able to!  Will I do it again??  Ummmm, my immediate response following was “don’t let me do that again, I think I’ll be good with 50 miles next year” and then waking up the next morning and not feeling awful, I’d changed my tune a bit, so we’ll have to see!

“But seriously Randalynn, why did you do it, you could have rode the 50 mile course and we’d still have thought you were pretty bad ass considering all you’ve been through…”  I’ve heard it phrased all kinds of different ways and this will be my response to each and every person – I needed to prove to myself that I still had it, that I didn’t let ovarian cancer knock me down and keep me there, and other people needed to see it too.  I wanted to know that I although I have different struggles now when it comes to training, that I could push through them and succeed. I probably could have started the whole training thing a bit earlier, but coulda, woulda, shoulda…I know better now and am super comfortable on my bike and with the routes available to me to train on. And those 100 miles were a bit easier thanks to my two partners in crime – Kim and Carrie, thank you ladies!!!

This was my first year participating in Pedal the Cause – I had the honor of participating in such a high level, it was overwhelming at times (all good).  Our team was Gyn Onc Teal on Wheels, which I co-captained with my oncologist and friend, Andrea Hagemann.  Our team consisted of 80 riders – survivors, oncologists, researchers, our children, and friends and family, all in it for the same reason, to fund cancer research in hopes of one day finding a cure!  Andrea and I couldn’t have done it without each and every person on the team – Sandi Essner, your south-side team rocks, thank you for all that you did to head that portion up!  To date, we’ve surpassed our fund raising goal of $40,000 and are just a little bit away from hitting our push goal of $60,000 – as a hospital team, this is a HUGE jump from where they were last year, which was what we were looking for.  We were looking for a SPLASH when it came to the gynecological cancer community, and we were able to more than accomplish that, we didn’t go unnoticed this year, we’ve accomplished the following and still have 28 days to go:

  • More than doubled the funds raised – this couldn’t have been done without combining forces and making one larger team (thank you, Sandi!)
  • More than doubled the number of participants – I’m going to have to see how far we can push this number next year! Maybe 100+???
  • Have raised $58,895 as I’m typing this – we are BLOWN away by everyone’s generosity and support, it means more than you will ever know…sometimes we have to catch our breath when looking at the number. We’re currently the #2 hospital team in raising funds.
  • Were asked to participate as one of the Featured Fighter groups, for that campaign, myself and Andrea were thrilled to represent our team and the ovarian cancer community, sharing our story!
  • And three of us have participated in pieces on television for again, not only our team, but to create awareness around ovarian cancer.
  • Oh yeah, and to top things off, our first year having a team jersey, we WON the team jersey contest!!  Woohoo!!! We had some pretty rad sponsors too, that helped make that happen – St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness and Tessaro – THANK YOU!

I am so PROUD of each and every one of us – we pushed ourselves on road bikes and spin bikes, and our little kiddos did a pretty amazing job too — the Kids Challenge was on Saturday, and Olivia, Jaxson, my two nephews (Ethan and Emmett), and my niece (Lilly) all rode on Saturday morning and had such a fun time – activities galore and a fun 20-30 minutes on their bikes – it was so great to see them out there, they loved it! Next year maybe we’ll have a few more friends with us, I was honestly probably a bit overwhelmed by the time commitment to do things properly for the kids portion.

So what can you do — two things really, there’s still time to donate.  100% of public funds raised go directly towards cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center, and Siteman Kids at Children’s Hospital – this benefits not only the St. Louis community, but the cancer community across the country as a whole as they partner with other major cancer centers.  Click here to do so!  The second thing, simple – push your boundaries, step outside of your comfort zone and surprise the hell out of yourself, you’ll be shocked at the things you can do with your able body!

Thank you to each and every one of you reading this who’ve donated – your support means more to me and my family and team than you’ll ever know!

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