Why We Ride: Michael Prunka

Michael Prunka has never been particularly athletic. To many people who describe themselves that way, the thought of getting on a bike for a 60-mile ride might be overwhelming. For Prunka, the cause made the challenge worth it, especially after losing his best friend’s mother to cancer in December 2020.

“She had been a second mother to me for as long as I can remember, even when their family moved to North Carolina and mine remained in Maryland,” said Prunka. “Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of her.”

Prunka was familiar with the ride thanks to working for one of the Victory Ride’s media partners, CBS 17. Like many others, he had gotten a bike during the pandemic since most of the local gyms had shut down, and despite still not feeling comfortable with the distance, he knew he had to ride in 2021.

“The 60-mile ride was really quite a challenge for me, so each training milestone I hit felt like an accomplishment,” said Prunka. “I anxiously anticipated ride day for a long time, but nothing compared to crossing the finish line the day of the ride!”

The thoughts of loved ones who have fought cancer, and those who have passed away, were with Prunka throughout the ride. Knowing his fundraising was going to support research that could potentially save lives kept him going. With each pedal stroke, he knew he was part of a team moving us closer to Victory Over Cancer®.

“I’ve seen friends and family suffer because of cancer. To me, Victory Over Cancer means a little less suffering in the world. It means more birthdays. It means honoring the memory of those we’ve lost and hoping others don’t have to experience that pain because of cancer,” said Prunka.

You can join Prunka and hundreds of other riders in raising money to support critical cancer research by registering the 2022 Victory Ride, set for May 21!

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