They set off soon after 7 a.m. Saturday morning, a swarm of bicycles headed out for miles and miles to give young cancer patients the chance of having a family.
They rode in the 2nd Annual Forsyth Metric Century to benefit Team Maggie For A Cure, a charity that helps young adults with cancer find funding for fertility preservation.
Mary Jones started Team Maggie as her 24-year-old daughter was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Jones’ daughter worried about the chemotherapy’s effect on her fertility. Drugs like Carboplatin and Cytoxan, some of the most common for treating breast cancer, can damage the ovaries and cause irregular periods or stop periods altogether.
Fertility preservation can be costly, sometimes as much as $10,000 for the surgery, plus $300-$500 per year for storage.
“The cost is extremely high, and there’s no help; there’s no insurance that will cover it,” Jones said. “So that’s what we do.”
So they set off from Sawnee Mountain Park on one of three routes — either 62, 31 or 15 miles — that took them through Forsyth County into Dawson County and back.
They passed horse farms and churches and fire stations and campgrounds and Matt Elementary School.
They crossed Bannister Creek and Brewton Creek and Cobb Creek.
Members of the Sawnee Amateur Radio Association provided communications for the riders. Volunteers set up five rest stops for riders to get water.
In all, approximately 110 participated in the event.