Why We Ride
We ride for our friends and loved ones who suffer from lung cancer and all lung diseases. Let's make sure everyone can benefit from healthy lungs.
My name is Cindi Pannone, and this is why I make Every Mile Count
I have been riding the Clean Air Challenge on the Glass Half Full team since 2012, after my friend Dara Glass’ husband Sam was diagnosed with lung cancer, and after I lost my cousin, Colleen, to the same. I learned that anyone could get lung cancer; both Sam and Colleen were nonsmokers.
During my childhood years, my sisters and I enjoyed spending time with our younger cousin Colleen and her family. One summer our moms decided to pack up the kids (five of us at that time), a couple of bikes and head out on a bicycle/camping adventure along the Oregon Coast. That memory has stuck with me through the years and played a significant role in my love for cycling.
In spring 2011, Colleen was struggling with a respiratory infection that the doctor first believed to be pneumonia. After not responding to prescribed medications, additional testing concluded an unwelcome diagnosis…lung cancer.
My cousin Colleen was only 44 years old, a non-smoker, and a vibrant young woman with an amazing sense of humor. In July of 2011 not even a month after her diagnosis of lung cancer, she succumbed to respiratory complications and passed. A heartbreaking end to a life still full of hopes and dreams. For me, the opportunity to participate and support the Clean Air was a no-brainer. The perfect venue for riding and honoring the memory of a beautiful life cut short.
That is why I ride the Clean Air Challenge.
My name is Patty Ginsburg, and this is why I make Every Mile Count
I ride the Clean Air Challenge because I’m not supposed to be alive.
Fifteen years ago, in March 2004, I was on a run, training for my 12th marathon. Suddenly, I struggled to breathe, barely able to even jog slowly. After several months of tests, a CT scan and biopsy finally revealed advanced lung cancer. I had been a smoker but had quit over seventeen years earlier. One of my doctors was blunt. He told us the cancer would kill me: maybe in six months or six years, but it would kill me.
I began chemo and radiation a few days after turning fifty-five. My esophagus took the brunt of the radiation and the cumulative impact hit like a Mack truck. Couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink for the pain. We had to stop chemo until my esophagus healed some from the burns. While we waited to resume chemo, I had another CT scan. Much to our shock, the tumor was nowhere to be found! I resumed chemo and finished treatment in March of 2005.
Since then, there have been some false alarms but so far, so good. Of course, life means you’re never out of the woods and I’ve had my share of challenges (even without lung cancer ) but this year I celebrate 15 years since diagnosis and treatment.
I ride the Clean Air Challenge because I can. This is payback for fifteen years I wasn’t supposed to get.
My name is Chris Hargrave, and this is why I make Every Mile Count
Every year my wife Sabrina and I participate in this event with Team Renate Schnell. Renate, my mother-in-law, passed away 4 years ago after a battle with cancer. My wife and her siblings rode in this event with Renate for many years, and now the CAC has turned into an annual celebration of life in her honor.
Last year this ride took on additional meaning for me. For the past year, my father has been fighting an uphill battle against COPD, Emphysema, and lung cancer. Seeing the deterioration in his health as a result of his lifestyle (smoker) has helped to reshape my perspective on health and wellness. As a result of that perspective shift, I actually changed my career from being a marketing consultant to a health coach. I now see my purpose is to help busy people develop healthy eating and exercise habits so that they can regain control of their body and enjoy a strong, happy, healthy life!