Ride for the Cure in Snowmass today
When Dr. Carolyn Kaelin died last month, obituaries from Boston to Aspen hailed her as a compassionate, brilliant surgeon who gracefully made the transition from doctor to patient when the very disease she’d spent her life combatting took her health.
Now, Komen Colorado will grant an award in her honor today at Ride for the Cure, a fundraiser that Kaelin helped put on the map.
The cycling fundraiser started in 2003, when Bill Fabrocini was approached by a new Aspen resident who was inspired by the Pan-Mass Challenge, a bike ride across Massachusetts that is said to raise more money than any other charity-athletic event in the country, according to its website. Fabrocini, a physical therapist in Aspen, pulled strings with his celebrity-athlete friends and got them involved, and Kaelin, who at that point had already been diagnosed with breast cancer, was the keynote speaker. She and her husband continued to participate in the ride for several years.
Fabrocini noted that it is rare for a doctor to understand so personally the perspective of a patient, although he believes that Kaelin had a gift for empathy even before her diagnosis.
“Just the most gracious, kind person and was able to cross that barrier between a doctor and a patient,” Fabrocini said of Kaelin. He will present an award created in his friend’s honor during today’s event, when he said he will try not to get “teary-eyed.”
“I think if we can keep this award going every year, it would be very meaningful,” Fabrocini said. “When we started the ride, the spirit of the ride was that it would provide an opportunity not only to raise funds but to stand in solidarity with anyone who was battling breast cancer or who has lost a loved one to breast cancer.”
Ride for the Cure starts in Base Village. Participants have three options: A 100-mile ride starting at 7 a.m., a 62.5-mile ride beginning at 8 a.m. and a 37-mile ride kicking off at 9 a.m. Members of the public can join a post-ride celebration in Base Village and can still donate to the cause at http://www.komencolorado.org.
Seventy-five percent of dollars raised at Ride for the Cure will support breast-cancer screening, diagnostics and treatment for uninsured and underinsured individuals in Colorado, according to a statement. The rest will support breast-cancer research.
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