Posted by Editoress on 05/15/12
There are at least 900 reasons for people to ride the Test of Metal.
Every one of the riders on the start line has his or her own reasons to challenge the gruelling 67 kilometre course, but perhaps none of the stories is more compelling than that of first time Test of Metal participant Suzanne Jolly.
Jolly is challenging riding skills and her physical stamina to ride in memory of long-time Test of Metal volunteer Glenn Ashenden who died from complications related to Cystic Fibrosis in December 2010.
“I'm going to take on this challenge—what I'm calling my Test of Lungs—because my friend Glenn would have been the most excited cheerleader on the sidelines, watching me race. He never hesitated to try new things and push himself,” Jolly said.
Cystic Fibrosis, a multi-system disease, primarily affecting the lungs and digestive system, affects some 4000 Canadians. It is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults.
“Living with cystic fibrosis seems to me like an every day Test of Metal. It’s a disease that impacts your lungs every day,” said Jolly.
Jolly, who works in Health Promotions at UBC, knows she won't win the race, and she is sure that there will be times that the challenge will seem almost insurmountable, but she is determined to finish.
"I will ride that course likely with a lot of pain, but also with dignity, in memory of a dear friend who had a disease that many of us know very little about. It's a disease that, on average, shortens lives to less than half of what other Canadians might enjoy yet still receives very little with respect to support, research or treatment dollars," she said.
Find out more about Suzanne's ride, and how the funds raised will benefit the lives of CF patients by visiting her blog: www.bit.ly/TestOfLungs
The Test of Metal Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation run by volunteers, and any proceeds from the race are returned to the community through charitable donations. Since its inception, the Test of Metal has donated more than $145,000 to community organizations and events.
Complete information the Test of Metal can be found at testofmetal.com.
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