I was privileged to meet (online and via phone) David O’ Leary when he volunteered to help with this year’s “LIVESTRONG Day at the Cinema.” As the timing was changed, I was unable to meet him in person, but he later contacted me about a wonderful collaboration he was setting up with Utah Cyclocross. Read a portion of his description from a press release:
When Utah cyclist and a member of the USA Cycling National Team Connor O’Leary (19 years old) was diagnosed with cancer this past summer, he and the cycling community knew they had to get involved to help others fighting this disease. The Lance Armstrong Foundation and Lance Armstrong personally have been a critical part of Connor’s care, so he was excited when his father, David O’Leary, suggested teaming up with Utah Cyclocross (www.utcx.net) to create CROSS OUT CANCER, a fun cyclocross event supporting LAF.
Utah Cyclocross organizer Matt Ohran stated, “When David O’Leary approached me about doing a fundraiser for Cancer I was honored that he thought that Utah Cyclocross could help make a difference. Hearing about his son Connor’s condition was heart breaking. I watched Connor mature into a very strong cyclist over the past years both on the road and at the UTCX series. I also immediately thought of Matt Bradley one of our most passionate Crossers who just had his foot amputated just below the knee, and of Cindy Yorgason, one of our race officials who both are battling cancer. The answer was an immediate YES – let’s figures out how and what we need to do to make this happen.”
CROSS OUT CANCER allows individuals in the greater Salt Lake City area to do something bold in the face of cancer by demonstrating support for local patients and by supporting the mission of the LAF to inspire and empower people affected by cancer.
UTCX has pledged to donate 100% of registration proceeds (a suggested donation of $15 dollars) from this special ride to LAF, which will be held in conjunction with Kiddie Cross at 12:20 PM with the Kids leading out the first lap. This event is in support of the many members of our community fighting against cancer including numerous cyclists who are currently battling this disease.
David O’Leary, a Lance Armstrong Foundation Fundraiser said, “We are proud and excited to be supporting this event and join thousands of other LAF supporters around the world in raising much needed funds to fight this disease that affects over 28 million people world wide. Together, we can help people with cancer live life on their own terms.”
The event will be held snow, rain, sleet or shine and all in attendance are encouraged to wear yellow, the color of LAF (LIVESTRONG). O’Leary went on to say, “Whether someone rides or simply comes to watch, they will be involved in an incredibly exciting event and will have personally helped to CROSS OUT CANCER.”
Funds raised through CROSS OUT CANCER will enable the LAF to continue helping people across the nation with the physical, emotional and practical challenges of cancer. Since its inception in 1997, the LAF has raised over $325 million to fight cancer.
And BEFORE the event has even occurred, David O’ Leary has already raised over $12,000 for LIVESTRONG in honour of his son. If you would like to make this an even MORE impressive Thanksgiving miracle, but cannot attend this event, please donate to CROSS OUT CANCER (supporting LIVESTRONG) by clicking on this link.
Please come to Wheeler Farm (6351 S 900 E, Salt Lake City, Utah) and participate in any of a number of activities. The schedule for the event is as follows:
Whether you want to watch the races, bid at the auction, or ride for someone special in the the LIVESTRONG Cyclocross Race, it’s guaranteed to be an amazing morning. Moreover, contrary to my original impression, there will be NO conflict with the U of U versus BYU Football game (or a TINY overlap at the worst). Please visit the Utah Cyclocross website for more information on Cyclocross and on this event. And please feel free to contact me if you have any questions (unless you need information about bicycles, for in that case I will regale you with childhood tales of how my friends and I road our three-speeds WITHOUT HELMETS here and there and everywhere SOMETIMES taking my mother’s bicycle and putting someone in the baby seat!).