Tucson – November 15, 2011 – Susan G. Komen for the Cure Southern Arizona makes its debut this year as a beneficiary of the University of Arizona Medical Center El Tour de Tucson, presented by CenturyLink. The breast cancer foundation formed a group of 25 who will cycle for the cure this weekend.
Riders for the Cure was formed in the summer and the team has been in intensive training since, meeting for Saturday morning rides and learning about nutrition and bicycle maintenance.
Triathlon coach Pam Kallio of Tri K2 Kallio Koaching spearheaded the training effort with a 16-week plan which saw some go from novices to experienced riders. The Rides for the Cure include:
* Robin Giles, a nurse practitioner and wife of a breast cancer survivor who said she had not ridden a bicycle since childhood: “I literally went out and bought a bike,.” said Robin, who also recruited three girlfriends to take part. On Saturday she will race 60 miles and hopes to raise $2700.
* Jaimie Leopold, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Southern Arizona, who bought a recumbent tricycle for the event. “The training has been tough but very fun, and our 25 riders have raised over $20,000 towards Komen SAZ’s breast health initiatives, which include funding breast health services for un-insured and under-insured women across Southern Arizona,” she said.
* Julie Evans, development and communications manager at Susan G. Komen SAZ, who will also be on a recumbent bike. “We’ve exceeded our fundraising goal and there’s no reason why next year’s team can’t be double the size,” she said.
* Ryan Mazura, who works for Southwest Gas and has been cycling for ten years. Ryan has done El Tour three times before, and on Saturday he will ride 111 miles. “My goal is to finish in the top 100,” he said.
* Staff members at KOLD News 13, including reporters/anchors Kayna Whitworth and J.D. Wallace.
Arizona Oncology, which has sponsored Riders for the Cure to the tune of $5000, also has several staff members taking part in the event.
Richard J. DeBernardis, founder and executive director of El Tour, said: “We’re pleased that Susan G. Komen has become part of the El Tour family.”
Riders for the Cure are eligible to receive custom cycling jerseys, water bottles, and messenger bags made out of recycled billboards, depending on their level of fundraising.
About Susan G. Komen for the CureⓇ and the Komen Southern Arizona Affiliate
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever, and in 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The Komen Southern Arizona Affiliate is part of the world’s largest and most progressive grassroots network fighting breast cancer. Komen SAZ uses its donations to make grants to health centers, clinics and programs to educate and raise awareness about breast cancer, and treat under-insured and uninsured women. Of every dollar raised, 75 cents stays in Southern Arizona and 25 cents goes to Komen National to help fund breast cancer research.