Kara Bonneau is no stranger to endurance events. Through the years, she’s completed countless marathons, cycling events, and triathlons, competing in some of the most renowned events around the world. Of the many finish lines she’s crossed, there’s one particularly close to her home, and her heart, that Bonneau makes a point to reach each year: the Victory Ride.
This is a cause that has touched her own life in a profound way. Her mom, Ann, passed away from cancer in 2013, and Kara is deeply committed to not only honoring her memory, but also paying it forward so no other family loses precious time with the people they love.
“My mom had cancer three times. She had Hodgkin’s disease when she was 19, thyroid cancer in her 40s, and then passed away from lung cancer in her late 50s. It was a struggle for her entire life,” said Bonneau. “If I can do anything, even a little, to contribute so no one else has to experience this, I will.”
Kara is currently gearing up for her fifth Victory Ride and has fundraised over $4,300 for ground-breaking cancer research since her first ride in 2018. “The research and progress is so important,” she said. “There were targeted therapies that were coming out at the time my mom was diagnosed. She just missed the availability of that, and if it had been even a year later, the outcome may have turned out differently.”
Inspired by her mom’s enduring spirit, Kara has taken on a new challenge this year: serving as the captain of her own team for the first time – Ann’s Angels. “One of my friends suggested starting my own team. Then, a handful of people came together to ride in memory of my mom. I think it’s going to be an extra special year,” she said.
While Kara is an experienced cyclist, she encourages riders of every level to get involved, no matter the distance. “There’s something for everyone at this event. It’s a great cause and a great atmosphere,” she said. “I’ve encouraged everyone I know who enjoys cycling in any capacity to come out and enjoy the event.”
No matter her other commitments, the Victory Ride remains an annual staple on Kara’s calendar. She rides for her mom, Ann. She rides for every person who has faced this disease. She rides for research. She rides for Victory Over Cancer®.
There’s still time to sign up for the sixth annual Victory Ride to Cure Cancer presented by CBS 17. Register here to ride with us on May 20 and support game-changing cancer research!