(Start line for 50-mile riders)
It’s hard to believe another Obliteride event has come and gone again—the third annual one, in fact. As both a partner to our client Fred Hutch (the sponsor), and team participants, this year had just as much of an impact on us as the first. Not only are we all huge believers in Fred Hutch’s mission—the quest for research and treatment to obliterate cancer—many of us have been personally touched by the deadly disease in one way or another.
(Hornall Anderson's riders)
We asked some of our riders to share their thoughts on the 2015 ride:
Why did you ride?
– Because I have so many friends and family that have been affected by cancer and I know that Fred Hutch is such a huge part of fighting that awful disease. – Julie L.
– For my mom, Leslie, who bravely fought breast cancer this past year – and kicked its butt! – Erin C.
– My stepmother has a brain tumor. – Saxon R.
– In my twenties I lost my mother. The profundity of this loss has had a lasting effect on my life. We were close; I looked forward to sharing my adventures and life with her. She was one of the kindest, open hearted, joyful people I have ever known. She divided her time between painting, working on hunger projects around the globe, and being the anchor for our family. She lived the healthiest lifestyle I have ever encountered. She was diagnosed with virulent throat cancer. She received treatment at some of the best hospitals in the country. She made it to my wedding to my wonderful wife Tami, and danced at our reception. She was able to make it to my sister’s wedding a year later. I watched her die a few months later. Her death left a hole in my life. I wish she could have met her grandchildren, traveled to Seattle to see this amazing slice of the country, and shared in our lives as adults. – Jonas L.
– I rode for my sister—a 20-year leukemia survivor. Fred Hutch developed the cure that ultimately saved her life. – Emma H.
– I rode for all the people in my life that are and have been affected by cancer. There are just way too many lost to this terrible disease. Seems every time I turn around, someone else has been diagnosed with some form of cancer.– Ricki P.
(Some of Hornall Anderson's cheer volunteers)
What most surprised you about the experience?
– The 10-mile ride was so much easier than I thought it would be, I was worried because I hadn’t ridden a bike in at least 5 years. – Julie L.
– The hills! What’s a girl gotta do around here to get a flat, straightaway?! – Erin C.
– The over-the-top rider support and services: food, drink, bike mechanics, sunscreen at the medical tent, shower trailer, a FREE MASSAGE at the end! So lux! – Saxon R.
– How well organized it was! If I didn’t know any better, I’d have never guessed it’s only been happening for three years. – Emma H.
– The 50 mile ride was so beautiful and easy. I was impressed by the class-A Friday night party and the day of event from start to finish. Starting at Fred Hutch made a huge impact! I cried; I can’t believe how much this affects me every year. – Ricki P.
(More of Hornall Anderson's riders)
What was your favorite part of the experience?
– It was just fun to be a part of something so meaningful and knowing that everyone is there for the same cause. Everything was organized so well, smooth sailing all the way. – Julie L.
– Riding with my husband and friends, and seeing my mom and kids at the finish line as I crossed. It made it all worth it. – Erin C.
– The quiet parts of my ride when I was totally alone. – Saxon R.
– I love riding with such a large group for such a great cause. It is an unbelievably great feeling. It makes your heart swell. – Jonas L.
– There were reminders of why we were riding in every detail of the event. But, even though it was fueled by sad stories and a united desire to end cancer, it was much more a celebration of life and the work Fred Hutch does to find cures. The whole atmosphere was just overwhelming. – Emma H.
– Seeing old friends, riding with good friends and family, the shared mission, and the beautiful Mercer Island loop,. – Ricki P.
(Amazing riders celebrating their awesome achievements)
Inspired by this great cause, our firm approached the fundraising effort as a true competition—girls vs. boys. We recruited a total of 40 participants (15 riders and 25 volunteers) to sign up. Each group was tasked with raising money and getting as many participants as possible.
We were so excited to learn that the fundraising total was just under $2M—fundraising will continue through the end of September, so it will likely go even higher! And our collective team, Lewis & Friends CERCumvent Cancer (Lease Crutcher Lewis, Hornall Anderson, Chris Li’s Lab at Fred Hutch), raised nearly $200K of that amount. In addition, our team had the most participants again this year at 95 riders and volunteers!
I’m so proud of our team and how, despite how busy we all are, we gathered in our own backyard for the greater good to champion such an important cause. Won’t you consider joining our team next year for Obliteride 2016?