Over the past decade, The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has been running a 220 Km cycling event out of Toronto with Enbridge as the annual patron and over $340 million raised to date. The event starts Saturday morning at the CNE grounds, heading for Niagara Falls and the return route is completed Sunday afternoon expecting more than 5,000 cyclists.
One of their featured riders this year is Abby Micks from Brantford in her Team LaVie with another Brantfordian Dan MacIntosh.
Abby is a cancer survivor. “I am a survivor…not a victim.” she states emphatically.
Team LaVie has raised over $7,000 for 2018 already and still counting. The riders are allowed to dedicate their contribution to specific treatments, research or patient services.
Abby works five days a week as the Clinic Manager at Essential Hearing on Charing Cross. You might also see her 4 nights a week doing on-road training and at least 2-4 days of cross training with weights and cardio in the gym, all in preparation for this grueling task. She takes one day off a week to regroup. Since last Fall she has dedicated herself to meet this challenge and added a triathlon and duathlon to the recipe for success.
“I have been on a six-year long cancer journey and I’ve beaten all my statistics. As the daughter of both parents having survived cancer and my closest cousin who recently succumbed to the same disease, we are committed to celebrate life. My parents taught me to rise above adversity and inspire others to keep fighting.” She adds, ‘It’s an unpredictable journey but worth every curve ball we are handed.”
The Princess Margaret media department chose Abby to be an official spokesperson on their behalf this year and produced a video to celebrate her journey.
Although she rides a sophisticated and very expensive Di2 carbon fiber bike under 17 pounds, she explains that it is not a race and many survivors, families and friends ride unusual bikes including tandems. Others from the Brant Cycling Club will be on the road with her.
Her pain never ends but is at least lessened when she is physically active. Abby has had many surgeries for her melanoma and chemotherapy, which has its own side effects of lymphoedema. Her scars, reconstructed ankle and stiches are strained on the bike, but her drive is overwhelming and intended to be inspirational for others also going through this.
The significant date of this event is not lost on Abby. It is the 7th anniversary to the day when she was first diagnosed. Her advise to others is simply, “Look inside to find your own faith, and choose to celebrate life”.