“I’m a cancer survivor by seven years. The colon cancer has been eradicated and the AML (acute myeloid leukemia) is under control. I attribute that to the good care I’ve gotten from Roswell Park,” Ginny Beyer says.
Inspired by her cancer journey and that of her cousin who fought childhood leukemia, Ginny decided to take a stand in the fight to end cancer. Alongside her husband, Roger, she signed up as a route guide for the Ride for Roswell — just to see what it was all about. Four years later, Ginny and Roger couldn’t imagine missing the event.
“I’ve got one of my Ride for Roswell T-shirts that says ‘survivor.’ Of course, it’s vibrant orange. I wear it everywhere, and people go, ‘Wow, congratulations!’ and I tell them about the event. So, Ride is a whole year-long thing now.”
Ginny and Roger set up post at the first turn on the Ride course, right after the cyclists exit the University at Buffalo. It gives the duo the chance to see people at the start of their journey, at a moment when their excitement is fresh and tangible. They see riders, young and old, of all different backgrounds and abilities. Ginny vividly remembers one rider who was tackling the 30-mile route while hooked up to oxygen.
“I thought, ‘Wow, you’ve courage, lady,’” Ginny says. “There’s story after story like that, of people showing their strength to fight cancer.”
Being a route guide gives Ginny the ability to motivate people and cheer them on while making sure the event runs smoothly. That role, in turns, brings her joy and allows her to have fun. You’ll often see Ginny and Roger decked out in full costume with red noses and cowbells, ready to delight riders as they take the first turn. Sometimes the riders are decked out in costume, too — in tutus or superhero costumes — which takes the whole experience to the next level.
Beyond the fun, Ginny and Roger play a vital role in directing riders and making sure they take the right turn for the right route. Without their help, people would get lost more easily, and the Ride wouldn’t be the success it is today. Plus, Ginny says, volunteering for the Ride connects you directly to a cause that spreads hope for cancer patients like her. She encourages everyone to do it.
“Do it because it is a lot of fun, and they need the help,” she says. “Whatever your limitations are, there’s a spot for you.”
Join Ginny and register as a Ride volunteer today.