Responding to the Tragedy of Childhood Cancer
By Danyelle Carlson

Last year was the first year I participated in the Great Cycle Challenge. I figured it would be a good way to motivate myself to ride my bike, and possibly raise money for research on children’s cancer, but I had another motivation as well.

Many people living in this area were aware of Delaney Clements. She was a young girl in Grand Junction who was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma at age eight. In 2015 she quit treating her disease and went into hospice care. Delaney was an outspoken advocate for children with cancer. She had an outgoing personality and was well known in Colorado. Her biggest wish was to see Taylor Swift in person. Amazingly, in December 2015, Swift flew to Grand Junction to meet Delaney at her home. On March 21, 2016, Delaney passed away at the age of 13.

Though I had never met her, Delaney was the face of childhood cancer for me. She was a great motivation for me. I had watched interviews where this girl, this child, was speaking about her own death in such a calm manner.  She had an understanding of mortality that I, at age 37, still can’t achieve. A child shouldn’t have to go through that. That’s why I’m riding.

The Great Cycle Challenge lasts for the month of June and riders, like myself, set fundraising and mileage goals. Last year, I did not meet my mileage goal of 220 miles, but I far exceeded by fundraising goal of $300. I raised well over $800, and that was completely due to my friends and co-workers at MFHC.  Even people I’d not yet met who worked here donated to my page. I was touched and completely blown away by the generosity of my peers.

I’ll be taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge again this year and am asking again for donations to this worthy cause. Any amount is a good amount, and no amount is too small. You can donate by clicking on the link below to see my page and see the stories of other riders who have been touched by childhood cancer.


RIDING THE GREAT CYCLE CHALLENGE was last modified: May 2nd, 2017 by Lindsey Lewis