From Patient to Rider

“Last Spring, between each of my six rounds of chemotherapy, I had a handful of days when I felt good enough to ride inside on my trainer. Although I only rode for 25 minutes a day, I felt on top of the world. Riding reminded me of life before and helped me imagine life Brion and Barbara Murray sailingafter cancer.”

Barbara Murray didn’t ride in the first Pedal the Cause. During event weekend, Barbara was nine months into a clinical trial for a new breast cancer treatment at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Her husband Brion and the Pfizer team, with hundreds of other riders, were logging in the miles that she couldn’t. Barbara and their son Will spent event weekend cheering on Brion. “Will and I were the first ones in Julian. We had so much fun ringing our cow bells as everyone rode into camp,” remembers Barbara. “It was an incredible experience. As a cancer patient, I was so moved by everyone who was there. While I had spent the year undergoing two major surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, these wonderful people had been training to ride in Pedal the Cause. Even though I had an unbelievable support network throughout my treatment, I was inspired by the community support in the fight against cancer that was evident at Pedal.”

Today, Barbara is strong enough to ride outside. “Getting outside and riding again is amazing.” She and Brion are training to ride 150 miles in Pedal 2014. Barbara, an attorney, is captain of Duane Morris LLP’s team, and Brion, a cancer researcher, is riding for Pfizer. “I was so impressed by Pedal that within a week, I met with the San Diego office managing partner to tell him about the event. Duane Morris immediately embraced the cause by becoming a sponsor, and my colleagues rallied around the cause by forming a large team of riders and volunteers.”

Although my life is great, I still think about cancer each day and dream of a world without this dreaded disease.

Although Pedal the Cause just recently celebrated the official launch of 2014, Barbara and Brion have been hard at work already. “We love the fact that it’s not just a weekend event. It’s a year-long event of building the teams, having fun, fundraising, raising awareness, and getting in shape to ride. Throughout the 14 months of my treatment, my surgeon, oncologist, and radiation oncologist at Moores Cancer Center provided world-class care with the utmost compassion. The team in the infusion center were incredibly supportive. My clinical research coordinators were angels. The radiation therapists were extremely caring and gracious. The least I can do is to spend this year raising money for this exceptional organization.”

Barbie & Will MurrayAt the Pedal launch event, Barbara was given her orange helmet, signifying a cancer survivor or patient. “I am very proud to be able to ride with this helmet.” For Barbara, the helmet reminds her of the people who are still in treatment. Adds Barbara, “Going through treatment is brutal at times. I am happy to have my health back so I can be a part of Pedal. I hope to be able to inspire someone who is currently going through treatment, just like the riders inspired me last year.”

Lots have changed in a year. “I spent last Mother’s Day in the hospital with a neutropenic fever. I will spend this Mother’s Day sailing with family and friends. Although my life is great, I still think about cancer each day and dream of a world without this dreaded disease. I’m thankful for everyone involved with Pedal for all they do to make this dream a reality.”


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