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Why We Ride

Betsy C.FY17 IL Ride Betsy

In January 2008, my mom went to the doctor for a nagging cough she’d had for weeks. Soon after, at only 68-years young, she was diagnosed with Stage 3B lung cancer—despite the fact that she had never smoked a day in her life and led a very healthy lifestyle. At the time, she was presented with one treatment plan, which unfortunately failed to stop the cancer growth. My mom passed away four months after her diagnosis, on May 19, 2008.  While I miss her every day, the worst part of our family’s loss is that my children will not have their own memories of my sweet and gentle Mother.

When she was sick, I could not stand the fact that I could not help her, and that it seemed no one could help her.  But my research led me to the American Lung Association, where I registered for the Fight for Air Ride in her honor. I founded Team Barbie, which has expanded and continues to ride each June. We have raised more than $75,000 to date and don’t plan to stop soon!  Even though my mother is gone, I know that more non-smoking women like her are diagnosed every single day with lung cancer, and they deserve a fighting chance.  Every 5 minutes, a woman in the U.S. learns she has lung cancer, and the lung cancer death rate for women has doubled in the last 35 years, even as smoking rates decrease.  We must have better options and better support!  We need to raise awareness, to eliminate the stigma surrounding this disease, and to fund further research so we can get rid of lung cancer, once and for all.  I hope you’ll join me and Team Barbie in supporting the ALA and their incredible work to promote lung health and fight lung cancer!


Howard S.


In December of 2005, my Aunt Linda who NEVER smoked was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I wanted to do something to help researchers find a cure.  In April of 2006, I came across the American Lung Association’s website and read about their 3-day bike ride to raise money for healthy lungs and clean air.  I told my parents about it and my dad and I signed up for the ride creating the team Linda’s Pedal Pushers.

At the time, I was only 9 and I was one of the American Lung Association’s youngest fundraisers and Riders. Our team has grown immensely over the years, from just two riders to ten!

I am humbled and honored by the generosity of all the people who have heard my story and donated.  I am deeply moved listening to other riders tell their stories. My team, Linda’s Pedal Pushers, has become one big family with one goal in mind, finding cures for lung diseases.

My goal? To raise enough money to find a cure!!!


Lynn K.UM-FY16-CHI-Ride-Lynn

In 2002 my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 non-smokers lung cancer.  She fought this disease for 3 years.  As she fought, she did so with a smile on her face never letting you know what kind of pain she was in or how bad that pain was. In 2005, this disease finally took her.

 In 2013, a friend of mine told me about the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Ride.  She said she had been doing it for a number of years and that it was challenging but fun. She gave me a brochure, and I was excited and up for a new challenge. The Ride was very challenging, but I prevailed and had a great time doing it. The Ride in 2015 brought its own challenges as we rode 47 miles on Friday in rain, but that didn’t stop the riders and volunteers from having a great time. The ride is so personally rewarding that I will continue to ride until I can no longer, and then I will become a volunteer. So why do I ride? I ride because I can and others cannot, and I ride in honor of my mom. Come out and join us; I promise you won’t be disappointed and will be riding for a great cause.

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