For Elizabeth Pratt, the chance to participate in Susan G. Komen’s 100-Mile Cycling Challenge on Facebook was more than an opportunity to raise funds while doing an activity she loves; it was the chance to use her platform to raise awareness of the importance of getting regular breast cancer screenings.
In late 2019, her doctor noticed something in a routine mammogram that raised concerns. Because Elizabeth’s mammogram showed high breast density, her physician recommended additional testing in the form of an ultrasound followed by a biopsy. Then in March 2020, as the world around her was shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Elizabeth got the shocking news: she had breast cancer, more specifically, stage 2 estrogen receptor-positive invasive ductal carcinoma.
Elizabeth, who works as a vice president for a community college in Northern California, was still researching her options when her school went 100% remote during the pandemic. “It was strange not being on campus but being home allowed me the flexibility to work through my treatment,” she said. “It was important to me to feel viable; to maintain a sense of normalcy. I paced myself, but it was important for my spirit to keep going.”
Her treatment consisted of a partial mastectomy, which was followed by radiation and four rounds of chemotherapy. While she was in the final stages of treatment, her family presented her with an Echelon Connect Bike. “I was looking for ways to build back my strength. When I first got the bike, I was still going through chemo and could barely ride for more than five or 10 minutes,” she said. “But it was one of those things that really helped me get back the strength I needed. I was hooked.”
After she completed treatment, Elizabeth began looking for more ways to support Komen. Her husband signed up to be a monthly donor, and Elizabeth joined forces with her college’s softball coach to organize an awareness walk in October. Then, last year, she received an email sharing details about Komen’s upcoming Facebook fundraising challenge: the 100-Mile Cycling Challenge. “This was the perfect opportunity for me to encourage ‘friend-raising’ for a good cause, get in some extra miles on my bike and, most importantly, share the importance of not putting off getting screenings to my friends and family on social media.”
This National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Komen will once again be hosting a 100-Mile Cycling Challenge on Facebook. Throughout the month of October, participants will be challenged to cycle 100 miles on the bicycle of their choosing while raising funds for Komen. Fundraisers will be able to track their miles through the Challenge Facebook group, which is fully hosted and managed by Komen.
“This Challenge is a fun way to support people with breast cancer while doing something you love,” Elizabeth said. “The group is also a great place to connect with other cyclists and support their journey through the Challenge.”