Sandy Avis

Sandy Avis

Why I ride? Simple. Because without research I wouldn't be here to ride. My story is ironic, raw, hopeful and tragic all at once.

In 2004, at age 41 I was diagnosed with Stage 2A Breast Cancer. I was as aggressive as I could be with my treatment. With 3 young boys and a husband and a full life ahead of me there was no other choice in my mind. Double Mastectomy, 6 rounds of nasty chemo, 10 years of oral anti estrogen medication and a hysterectomy. 
When we heard about the inception of VeloSano, as native Clevelanders now living in Northern Michigan, we knew we had to put together a team of family and friends. Well, it took on a life of its own and soon VeloSano became our "family reunion" a weekend that wasn't to be missed. Sandy's Domestiques came from far (Europe, California, Boston and points between) and wide! It felt good to give back and be part of something positive and uplifting- and the first VeloSano coincided with my 11 year cancer free anniversary! Or so we thought.
Christmas Eve 2014 we took our annual family hike up Empire Bluffs to see the sweeping views of  Lake Michigan. As we climbed I became short of breath, to the point where this normal intermediate hike that I did all the time, was almost impossible to complete. After the holidays were over I went to my doctor for what I thought was something minor, only be told 4 days later I had Metastatic Breast Cancer in the pleura lining of my right lung. Life changed in an instant and VeloSano took on new meaning for myself and my team. 
Yet here we are, 2019 and I will be riding in VeloSano 6 and all because of research. I have been the recipient of many new oral and intravenous therapies for METS, something that was unheard of 5-10 years ago. Four years ago we were terrified, devastated, and incredibly fearful. Since my recurrence with the help of family, friends and modern medicine I have been able to dream, to do and to live. Our family mantra was derived from those scary moments in January 2015, Be Present and Be Nimble, it has served us well.  We look forward to VeloSano in July and I am looking forward to being on the receiving end of the wonderful research being done as a result!

View Sandy’s Personal Fundraising Page.

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