Cycle for Hope raises money for UMC Children's Hospital and Canc - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Cycle for Hope raises money for UMC Children's Hospital and Cancer Center

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The third annual Cycle for Hope took place on Saturday, in an effort to raise money and awareness for University Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital and Southwest Cancer Center.

The event involves a seven mile bike ride and 5K run/walk around the Texas Tech and UMC campuses. Several local vendors set up for the event along with a child’s play area and bike course.

Co-director Jason Morton started this event with other cycling enthusiasts.

“It was really important for me,” Morton said, “because five years ago I was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer and was treated at the Southwest Cancer Center. My personal goal with this event was to find a way to be able to give back to all the nurses who treated me.”

The money raised at Cycle for Hope is split between the Children’s Miracle Network and the Celebrate Today Fund. A patient advisory committee distributes the money from that fund for things that insurance and the hospital don’t provide for patients.

“We can help them out with gas so they can get here to their treatment and get better,” Morton said. “Some of the other things the patient advisory committee does is provide lymphedema sleeves. We also provide wigs.”

It has been a year since cycling participant Jeremy Pena’s battle with gist cancer. He completed the seven mile bike ride and said he takes any opportunity to participate in any event that has to do with cancer. He encourages others to do the same.

“It's a good time, and it is raising money for something that is important,” Pena said. “You don't realize it until you or your family is affected by it.”

Morton said that this isn’t your typical cycling event, and he doesn’t want people to be intimidated by the 5K or the bike ride.

“Most of our riders are not wearing spandex or riding a $5,000 carbon fiber bike,” Morton said. “It is just regular people having a good time.”

Seven-year-old Will Brackeen completed the 5K with his mom, Amy, who is a physician in the area.

“He made me tired,” Amy said. “He ran the whole way. I was the one that had to stop for water. I'm just proud of him. I'm proud that he realizes that we need to help others and raise money for others.”

If you would like to donate to the cause, visit http://cycleforhope.kintera.org/.

Copyright 2014 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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