When Word on Health heard that brain cancer survivor Anne Feeley’s three month cycling trip across the U.S. would culminate in our home town of Washington DC, we just had to be there. Which is why, last Saturday your very own blogger, cheerfully braved 100+ degree temperatures and city traffic to accompany Anne and her cycling partner Gundy on the final leg of this inspiring journey.
We were joined, by several brain cancer survivors, including local fundraiser, athlete and friend extraordinaire BethAnn Telford, as well as others like us, who were simply touched by Anne’s story and wanted to help her spread the message.
After being diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a malignant brain tumor, in 2006, doctors told Feeley that her chances of survival were slim. But she was determined not to take the diagnosis lying down. So far she has defied the odds and the mean post-diagnosis life expectancy of 15 months. Not only is she still alive, she is in remission and redefining what it means to live with brain cancer.
“I began my exercise routine while the staples were still in my head. Some days I cried all through the yoga class, but I did it,” says Feeley.
After just a few months, she began competing in running, cycling and mountain climbing events. “When I first attempted running, I could only manage seven steps. We slowly worked at it and less than a year later I finished a half marathon. My finishing time wasn’t great, but I finished and I felt wonderful.”
To those who say she’s one of the lucky ones, Anne responds, “It shouldn’t be about luck; it should be about science.” We need better treatments, there have only been three treatments developed in 35 years. … I want to change that.”
And change that she has. To raise awareness and research funding for the disease she had worked so hard to overcome, and Feeley founded Brains on Bikes. Now, having completed 4,170-miles and raised over $1.5 million, she says “This is just the beginning.”
100% of the money raised will go to help brain cancer patient and to fund research. To donate, or find out more, please visit http://brainsonbikes.org/