People pedal for popular cancer foundation

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Bicycle rubber hit the pavement Saturday morning to help "Livestrong" in an event inspired by a cancer survivor.

The first-ever NEA Baptist Ride for Hope benefiting "Livestrong" the Lance Armstrong Foundation that supports cancer research and awareness, took place on Saturday morning and consisted of three rides: a shorter ride for families, a 25-mile ride, and a 50-mile ride that journeyed through Harrisburg and back.

The idea came from two-time cancer survivor and three-year cancer patient, Gary Peeler. "I came up with the idea this spring," said Peeler, "When I look back at my life and the chapters I wrote, I kind of think I was little week on some things."

Peeler was a patient at NEA Baptist and said this was a good chance to give back what was given to him. For the staff at NEA Baptist, they say they are glad to help. "It's great to see so many people out here to support the "Livestrong" foundation," said Robbie Johnson, Director of Development at NEA Baptist. "We heard of his (Peeler) idea and said, this a good thing we could really do some good with," said Johnson.

Before the ride, NEA Baptist Hospital CEO Paul Betz also spoke about a new 34,000 square feet facility that will consolidate all their cancer therapies as part of their new building project.

Johnson and Peeler both said they expect this event to grow into an event they can use to help cancer patients for years to come.

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