In 2011, Kara Bonneau bought her very first road bike to tackle the 12-mile bike leg of her first sprint-distance triathlon. That very first race on her new bike sparked her love for triathlons and she was hooked. Since then, Kara has completed several IRONMAN 70.3 events, a full IRONMAN (that’s 140.6 miles of constant movement in the water, on the bike and running!), several centuries and many more challenging rides in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Now, she is adding the Victory Ride to Cure Cancer 100-mile ride to her list.
Kara was one of the first riders to start fundraising for the Victory Ride. Like many of our participants, she is riding in honor of someone very special: her mother, Ann. Kara’s mother beat Hodgkin’s disease as a teen, and then she beat thyroid cancer in her 40s. In 2012, her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. Ann sought treatment at Duke Cancer Center and put up a brave fight, but sadly, she passed away in February 2013, at the young age of 58.
In addition to riding in May in memory of her mother, Kara wants to raise money that will help prevent others losing their loved ones too soon. Kara began fundraising by first setting up her personalized fundraising page and then sharing the link on her Facebook page. (Want some tips on how you can do that, too? Click here.) After her initial post, she shared the link again on important days like her mother’s birthday, holidays, and on the fifth anniversary of her mother’s passing. She’s had several people reach out to her with encouragement, memories and kind words about her mother, which has helped fuel Kara’s unstoppable quest to do good in the fight against cancer.
Another great fundraising tip Kara shared with us is that she immediately thanks people who donate through email, Facebook messages and text messages. She also takes it a step farther and tags her donors in status updates on her Facebook page, which recognizes the person who donated and creates more awareness about her cause. Kara is currently on the Victory Ride fundraiser leader board, where we track top fundraisers and recognize their hard work.
Whether you’re riding in honor of a loved one―like Kara is for her mother, Ann―or for another reason, we are thankful to have you on our team riding toward the ultimate goal: victory over cancer.