Cure gets a shot in the arm | AspenTimes.com

Cure gets a shot in the arm

Joel Stonington
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” More than 400 riders started the Aspen/Snowmass Ride for the Cure at 7:30 a.m. Saturday without a cloud in the sky and proceeded into a glorious day.

“We had beautiful weather,” said Leslie Schramer, from Missouri Heights, a first-time rider.

The ride is an emotional 100 miles for most who take it on. It’s strenuous, with a course that includes riding to Ashcroft and the Maroon Bells. But it’s also a minimum $500 commitment to raise money to help fight breast cancer and find a cure.

“My goal was $5,000 and I’ve raised about $3,000,” said Sally Shiekman-Miller, from Emma, who said she thought a lot about a real estate broker where she works who is fighting lung cancer. “There’s no good kind of cancer. Everyone is touched one way or another by it.”

Patrick Kelly, who lives in Aspen, rode in memory of his brother, Timothy Kelly, who died of bone cancer at the age of 26. Kelly said that though the ride was difficult, whenever he thought of his brother’s 8-year fight with cancer, he was able to find more energy.

“He had been a really good athlete himself,” Kelly said. “It was so emotional to be so worn out and think of him. He just kept going.”

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The ride is put on by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Aspen affiliate, a group that has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to valley health organizations to help fight breast cancer. Though strides have been made against the disease both in cancer research and education, 211,000 women are expected to die this year from breast cancer.

Still, many survive breast cancer, including numerous volunteers and riders.

“I was extremely lucky,” said Gail Holstein, a cancer survivor from Woody Creeker, who was volunteering for her fourth year. “This is what we do in America. We turn adversity into something fun. It’s wonderful that it’s so out in the open. The more awareness, the better.”