Bike Ride Raises Money for Cancer
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Hundreds of bicyclists gathered for the 10th Annual Sunflowers to Roses ride through Southern Johnson County on Sunday. They rode for fun and to help cancer patients better their lives.
Ryan Jacobs, 10, stands tall in the backseat of the Mercedes pace car. He’s enjoying the ride as a survivor. His parents call him their miracle child.
“I had AML Acute Mylah-Janic Leukemia when I was 5-months-old,” Jacobs said.
He was on life support for nine days. Doctors gave him a 20 percent chance of survival. But he beat the odds and is now a patient at Children’s Mercy’s Survive and Thrive Program. He is there to encourage others.
“Just cheer on other bikers and say good job,” Jacobs said. “We are hoping the Sunflowers to Roses will help donate to Survive and Thrive.”
Cancer Action is another local organization that benefits from this ride. Molly Buchanan is a survivor and is now a volunteer.
“The cost of all different things you don’t think about even if you have insurance,” Buchanan said.”The things you have to pay for out-of-pocket that aren’t met by insurance. It’s those costs that organizations like this help out with…its amazing.”
It supports cancer patients by providing travel to and from treatments, prescription assistance, medical supplies and nutritional and emotional education as well as advice.
“We are a local community organization so we depend on local community to stand with us so we can stand with others,” said Karla Nichols with Cancer Action.
Kevin Killilea’s team of 19 from Mercedes-Benz in Kansas City rallied to raise money when another employee’s son was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier in 2012.
“This cause resonates with lots of people,” Killilea said. “There are brothers and sisters and moms and dads effected by this. Everyone is riding for fellow employee and also for family members.”
It’s tradition to begin the ride by spreading Sunflower and Rose petals over the starting line. Riders chose their route based on their ability level. They can go from four to 67 miles.
There are no official winners at the ride. Organizers don’t want a race. Sunflowers to Roses instead celebrates the victory of support amidst the journey.
To learn more about these locations click here.