I first rode le Tour de Femme in 2009, in the middle of chemotherapy, arriving with a bald head and determination to complete the 31 miles. I didn't have a riding partner, but that didn't matter because every person at the ride that day was a partner and cheerleader. Rolling into the finish, I was greeted with a pink carnation, cheers and hugs. Every year since, I am overcome with feelings of joy, gratitude, compassion, comradery, and "girl power" for the chance to participate. This year, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to interview a rider, volunteer or sponsor each month and learn why this event means so much to them.
We just finished our first interview with Emily Lesko, a rider and top fundraiser since 2011, who creates a bracelet for each person she loves who has cancer, so that she can take them on her ride. She learned about the ride in the check out line at Target. A few ladies were talking about their sore areas and Emily, who had just started cycling that year, offered a few suggestions. The conversation lead to le Tour de Femme and Emily was excited and daunted at the prospect of riding 62 miles. It was not enough to ride for the sake of riding, Emily also connected with the bigger purpose- to raise money for the Angel Fund at Rex and the Kay Yow Foundation. So many people in her life have been touched by cancer. This year, she is riding especially for the "Kims", two young women who lost their battles with cancer last year. Emily's grandfather in law, Marion, who was visiting the day we were there is one of Emily's survivors. (pictured holding hands and hugging). She also credits her husband and biggest cheerleader, Bryan, in supporting her fitness and fundraisers efforts for le Tour de Femme. (pictured on the couch of their porch)
Le Tour de Femme is a one day ride in Cary, NC with a 15, 31, and 62 miles option and takes place on October 14, 2017.