Who is Riding: Andrea Local
San Diego Cancer Survivor and Pedal the Cause 2-Day Rider
After being diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin Lymphoma in January 2011, undergoing 6 months of chemo, getting a wonderful new haircut, and the opportunity to reflect on what is truly important in life, Andrea Local can honestly say she is a transformed person. From being more easy-going, to selling her car and using her bike as her main mode of transportation, to being more open to what life has to offer, her battle with cancer has been a life-changing journey.
Andrea responded well to treatment and has been cancer-free for two and half years now. She had been looking for a way to fundraise and raise awareness for cancer research ever since being diagnosed but nothing ever caught her eye. Then one day while in a Pearl Izumi store, the fundraising-newbie saw a flyer for Pedal the Cause and knew that she wanted to participate.
“I’m not sure why but I knew right away that I wanted to do this ride,” says Andrea. “I think it was the challenge that appealed to me, pushing myself to do something physically demanding to remind me that I am healthy again and that I can do anything.”
Andrea has completed a handful of marathons and half marathons but has never participated in any cycling races or events like Pedal the Cause before and says cycling is a new thing for her. Last year, after selling her car and buying a road bike with the help of her fiancé and teammate, Christian, she now bikes to work and back (about 20k round trip.) Then on the weekends, her and Christian cycle around town running errands.
Even though cycling has become a big part of her life recently, the farthest she had ridden was 40 miles. So with the help of her fiancé who has been cycling for years and Pedal the Cause colleagues, who have experience in numerous races, Andrea has been getting the training to help her prepare for the 2-day ride to Julian and back. Just recently, Andrea went to her first Pedal the Cause training ride where she said it was a great experience to help her feel less nervous.
While Andrea was still battling cancer, a very good friend lost his father to prostate cancer and another friend lost her battle with breast cancer. Andrea thinks she got off lucky, saying, “It makes you aware of everyday, reminds you that time can be short and therefore is precious – don’t waste it.”
Her experience with cancer has also renewed her enthusiasm and commitment to her research. Andrea has a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from UCLA and is currently a postdoc at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University of California, San Diego.
When asked what she is most looking forward to with Pedal the Cause, Andrea enthusiastically said, “I want to finish this aching all over and covered in road grime! And the camping! It is such a good idea to have everyone camp together the whole weekend. It sounds like it will be a blast, meeting new people and making new friends. And all while wearing spandex for an awesome cause.”