For Scott Long, cancer has always been a part of life. He lost a grandmother and an uncle to cancer and, a few months ago, a cousin just two years older than Long also passed away. As we speak, he has another cousin taking on cancer. Long, an avid cyclist, was looking for a good event to continue training this summer when he found out about the Victory Ride to Cure Cancer.
“I have always loved cycling and sprint triathlons, but all of the events I do are at the early part of the summer,” said Long. “I participated in a ride on July 4 and they had a postcard announcement about the Victory Ride. Having just lost my cousin to cancer, I knew right away that I had to do this ride for her, as well as all the others in my family that have been affected by this horrible disease.”
While Scott is on a bike routinely, he notes it’s been six or seven years since he has completed a century ride (the 100 miles which he will take on at the Victory Ride on August 28). Regardless, he knows looking around and seeing all the other riders who have also lost loved ones to cancer will be all the motivation he needs.
“I am most looking forward to the finish line, as I just want to be able to finish strong!” said Long. “Seriously, I am looking forward to joining a bunch of other like-minded cyclists and volunteers who have experienced the terrible impacts of this disease and have the same desire I do to see it finally cured.”
Long hasn’t only been working hard on the bike. He has taken a full-court press approach to fundraising, which included sending more than 600 emails to share his story about why he is riding. The effort has paid off so far, as he blew past his original goal of raising $1,000 in just a week and a half.
“There is no one I did not ask, and it has worked so far. I decided to get outrageous and reset my goal for $5,000 and see what happens,” said Long. “I guess my only advice to other riders is, ‘don’t be too scared to ask’. I got donations from some people I never thought would give, but I asked them anyway! So, what the heck? Why not get outrageous with your goals?”
While Long’s fundraising goals have continued to grow, his goal for the event remains the same: finish the ride, cross the finish line strong and remember why he’s there: to honor his family members who lost their lives to cancer and move us closer to cures that could save more lives down the road.