A Borger native is currently taking a special bike ride to honor breast cancer patients, with one especially dear to her heart in mind: her mother.
With plans to ride and raise $100,000 to honor her mother Martha Vinyard, Michelle Cooper, former Miss Borger 1987 and professional skydiver turned cyclist is riding her bicycle from Phoenix, Ariz. To Borger. The ride began on April 27, and will conclude on May 8. Cooper is hoping to raise funds for breast cancer patients.
She said she hopes to raise funds specifically for those in need of treatments who cannot afford it. She said her inspiration is her mom, Vinyard, who is a four-year breast cancer survivor that lives in Borger. She said she is thankful her mom is alive and is a survivor.
“The ride is not about me, but about all of us,” Cooper said.
Cooper said that in June of 2007, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it was a blow that hurt so deep it was hard to describe.
“The emotion contains fear, anxiety, anger, and disparity, and it hits you all at once,” she said. “I ached for my mom and the long road ahead.”
She said it was a journey her mom didn’t ask for, but one from which they all could learn. Her mom survived and her anguish became relief.
“But for others, life ends, and family members remain coping with the power emotion of the loss of their loved one,” Cooper said. “I know death comes to us all, but I will never be ready to let my mom go, and if I can make a difference to our current remedies for breast cancer, then just maybe we can find a cure.”
She said she was raised by caring parents, who gave her and her two younger brothers a wonderful and happy childhood with lots of love.
“They both have made many sacrifices for the three of us, and now I feel like it’s my turn to return the favor,” Cooper said. “In truth, I would ride to the moon if it meant finding a cure.”
Cooper’s total ride will take her down Route 66 for a 12-day stretch, traveling anywhere from 50 to 95 miles each day. She has cycled through Payson, Ariz., Flagstaff, Ariz., and Holbrook, N.M. as of Friday. This weekend, she will be stopping in Gallup, N.M. and Grants, N.M., with stops next week planned in Albuquerque, N.M., Moriarty, N.M., Santa Rosa, N.M., Tucumcari, N.M., Amarillo, Adrian, and eventually Borger.
While in Adrian, Cooper plans to stop at the MidPoint Café, which is the official halfway mark between Chicago and Los Angeles on Route 66. When she reaches Borger, she plans to stop at Huber Park, where a Mother’s Day Celebration will be held along with a fund raiser for breast cancer.
Cooper, 42, hopes to raise $100,000, funneling the proceeds into the local communities through which she rides. She is hoping other cyclists will join her cause and ride along with her. Her brother Rob Vinyard plans to join her in Albuquerque, N.M. for the last days of the ride.
Beneficiaries include Harrington Cancer Center of Amarillo and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Phoenix, Ariz. Donations can be made through Cooper’s web site, www.BikeForIt.org .
Sponsors for the ride are Metropolitan Imageworks, Camelback Coaching, Abuelos Mexican Restaurant, Metro Center Chiropractic, Industrial Pest Management, Tuff Writer Tactical Pens, Acura of Peoria, Bicycle Vibe, and CBS Technologies.