Taking on the Ride for the first time – Annie’s story

Meet Annie.

She’s a mother of three young children, a cancer patient and a first-time Ride for Roswell participant.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer in the beginning of 2020 was one of the most difficult things her family has ever been through.

“It has literally been one of the worst years of my family’s life. I was 40 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have 3 little kids… ages 4,6 and 8. I was diagnosed a month after the world shut down. Talk about going from a pandemic into cancer! Which, as crazy as it sounds, was an absolutely perfect time to be diagnosed. I was able to get into appointments quickly. I was diagnosed and within a week I had an appointment at Roswell.”

After her diagnosis, Annie’s whole family rallied together to support her through her treatment at Roswell Park. They decided that participating in the 2021 Ride for Roswell was a fun and easy opportunity for everyone to get together and make a difference.

“We really knew that this was something my family and friends wanted to do to support Roswell. Roswell literally saved my life.”

Why she's riding in 2021

The Ride will mean more to Annie this year than ever before. 

“I’m actually not even done with treatment yet. I am still going through some treatment. It is kind of perfect timing. I have 8 cycles of an oral chemo drug, and my 8th cycle finishes the week before the Ride for Roswell! It’s going to be a big celebration… I get emotional just thinking about it.”

Annie will ride through the finish line for herself and all those affected by cancer. 

 “The thought goes into your head as a parent, ‘oh my gosh … what is the likelihood that this would happen to my kids?’ To know that there is a cure out there … would make that journey a little bit easier. 

“The reason I ride is because I want the accessibility of Roswell Park to be there for everybody. To know that there is a cure for this. Even if you get a stage four diagnosis, hopefully, one day, there will be a cure where that won’t be a terminal diagnosis.” 

And while cancer is now a part of who Annie is, she is determined to do her part to help make a better future for others.

“Cancer is forever a part of my life, and forever a part of my family’s life. If we can raise funds to help cancer research, so that if I have a reoccurrence, or if someone else from my family is impacted; knowing that the money is going to cancer research so that one day there can be a cure – I couldn’t pick a better place to raise money for.”

Annie’s treatment transformed her. While in the midst of one of the hardest years of her life, she was given some light.  

“It is a place I never ever wanted to step foot in, but it is also a place that as soon as I did step foot into that hospital, I was instantly filled with hope. It is the most incredible place to go – when you have to go somewhere.”  

Why you should ride with her

Even though Annie is a first-time rider, she is finding that preparing for the Ride is much easier than she expected.  

“Fundraising was SO easy! As soon as I signed up, I clicked the link to Facebook and the donations were rolling in before I knew it was even set up.” 

Annie is almost at her $5,000 goal and the Ride is still a little bit away. 

“The support that we had throughout this last year, was just incredible. Facebook has made it so incredibly easy.” 

If you’re planning on coming out to an in-person ride, Annie’s advice is to not be intimidated by distance because it’s not a race. Plus, if you don’t feel comfortable with any of the distances or locations, you can always ride your own way. 

”You can even do it on your own. You don’t even have to do it at one of the locations. Distance shouldn’t deter anybody because it has been made so easy for anyone to do it.” 

Join the experience

The Ride for Roswell is a family-friendly event for all to enjoy. With no fundraising minimum or registration fee, this year is the perfect time to try it out. 

Annie, her family, and friends plan to make a day out of it. 

“We’re all riding at the Outer Harbor. Then we are having a party at our house afterward to celebrate the ride, to celebrate me being done with treatment.

“I am excited for August 7. To say treatment is done, and to say we raised a bunch of money for Roswell. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day.” 

Get Ready for Ride Spirit Week 2021

Besides Ride Weekend, Spirit Week is one of our favorite times of the year! This year’s Spirit Week is taking place from Monday, May 17 through Sunday, May 23. Gear up for a full week of fun activities and contests that you won’t want to miss! Here’s the line-up:

MONDAY, May 17

Team Recruitment Challenge

West Herr Hot Air Balloon and RFR team

Teams that recruit 10 or more members by Friday, May 21 at 5 p.m. will be entered to win a custom team T-shirt for all members.

Tuesday, May 18

24-Hour Fundraising Match Challenge

Get ready to raise! The first 250 riders to raise $100 will receive a $100 matching gift thanks to the generous support of Linde. Tell your friends and family that this is the day to donate. The match will only last from 12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday May 18.

Wednesday, May 19

Kickoff at Buffalo Riverworks

Join us at the Ride for Roswell Kickoff at Buffalo RiverWorks! Sessions will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will run in 45-minute intervals until 7:30 p.m. To stay within COVID-19 guidelines, you must be pre-registered for a specific start time.

Thursday, May 20

Lawn Sign Delivery

Riding to End Cancer lawn sign with sunset in background

The team is ready to start delivering your lawn signs! If you got your fundraising started early and hit that $100 mark by Friday, May 14 your lawn sign will be delivered starting today as part of this year’s rider rewards ! But that’s not all… one lucky rider will have an “Instant Extra Mile Club Member” voucher attached to their sign, courtesy of West Herr.

Friday, May 21 - Sunday, May 23

Gear up and go out

Break out your favorite Ride gear from over the years and spread Ride spirit all around Western New York! When you wear your swag to any of the following businesses throughout the weekend, you will receive 10% off your bill. (Check back periodically for an updated list):

Big Ditch Brewing Company

Hofbrauhaus Buffalo

Hartman’s Distilling Co.

Deep South Taco (both locations)

Buffalo RiverWorks

Pearl Street Grill and Brewery

SPoT Coffee 

We can’t wait to celebrate Spirit Week 2021 with our incredible Ride community!