Your bike dude here has participated in six charity rides, raising over $12,000. That’s my proudest accomplishment as a bike rider starting back in 2015 B.B. (Before Blog). Well, riding around the world in under five years probably ties that. Many of those miles came from TMJR and other training rides. Three of the charity rides were for the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride to raise funds for breast cancer treatment and services. Thanks to the coronavirus, the non-profit organization has had to adapt and reinvent itself to survive. And it’s done so quite smartly by becoming the fundraising arm for the Big Pink Bus, a project of the Lone Star Circle of Care (LSCC), which operates 24 health clinics in half a dozen Central Texas counties. This seems like important news and sharing is caring, so read on!
So, just what is the Big Pink Bus? It’s a mobile mammography unit. That may not seem like exciting news, but to the many women (one in eight, the statistic says) who cannot afford a mammogram, it’s a big deal. Also, it’s 3D, so is up to date with modern technology. In addition to the exam, women who need follow up will be connected with services. Partnerships with hospitals, community organization, philanthropists and government grants have all come together to put the bus back on the road after it was derailed by the pandemic. (I know, you don’t derail a bus, but whatevs.)
Here’s a quote from the CEO:
“LSCC understands that early detection of breast cancer saves lives and, through the relaunch of the Big Pink Bus, we are committed to increasing access and reducing cost barriers to mammography screening. We are further encouraged by extensive community collaboration now taking place to help identify cancer treatment pathways for those who are uninsured. LSCC is honored to serve its role in increasing breast cancer screening rates and improving outcomes for our neighbors.”Jon Calvin, LSSC press release
What’s the connection with the bike ride? Well, I’m glad you asked. While several million dollars have been secured to get things going again, continued funding will be necessary. Enter the Mamma Jamma Ride. And now that it’s part of the same organization, and all funds raised (after expenses) will go to this one project, it will be a more efficient operation. For those other charities that were receiving donations, I’m sure it’s a loss, however.
“Over the last 12 years the funds raised by the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride have made a tremendous impact in the breast cancer community and we are proud to see our mission continue with Lone Star Circle of Care, in support of the Big Pink Bus. By bringing Mamma Jamma in-house with Lone Star Circle of Care, the Ride will not only achieve greater operating efficiencies, but most importantly, we will deliver more vitally needed support to those in our community battling breast cancer.”Anne Fertitta, President, Board of Directors, Texas Mamma Jamma Ride, Ibid.
As for the TMJR bike ride, it will be held Saturday, September 18, 2021 in Taylor, Texas, northwest of Austin. Distances of 15, 25, 50 or 70 miles will be available IF you fundraise $300 BEFORE ride day. There’s also a $35 entrance fee. If this ride is any like the three I did around Martindale, Texas, it will be a fun event with hundreds of riders, swag bags, support vans and of course, plenty of snacks and drinks at the volunteer-run rest stops. It doesn’t appear there are any training rides this year, due to the pandemic of course. But riders are encouraged to join their Strava team to log rides.
Unfortunately, this dude is mostly retired from long-distance riding and fundraising. I might have considered it, but I have a major scheduling conflict. It’s right in the middle of the Writers League of Texas Agents and Editors Conference, where I hope to pitch my book. But maybe next year I’ll be back in shape, with no injuries, have a new bike, and be a year younger.
But that shouldn’t stop plenty of people (like you?) from registering or donating, right? Right! To register or donate, go to this link. Early detection is the best way to save women’s lives from this all-too-common killer. So I wish the Mamma Jamma Ride folks well at their new home and for all women to be able to receive a mammogram and treatment for breast cancer.
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