There’s a saying that goes, “People will never truly understand something until it happens to them.” For Mary, this was an unfortunate reality that hit her when her adult nephew was diagnosed with osteosarcoma two years ago. The love Mary has for children is incomparable, she strives to help them in as many ways as she wants them to experience a “happy, carefree childhood, not one filled with chemo and pain” as Mary stated.
Great Cycle Challenge (GCC) was introduced to Mary Sund, a pediatric nurse from the Twin Cities, seven years ago. Great Cycle Challenge is a yearly event where bicyclists from all over the country commit to riding a certain number of miles to raise money for research pertaining to children’s cancer. Throughout her life, Mary has participated in a variety of cycling events dedicated to numerous causes. Knowing how complicated childhood cancer can be, Mary was immediately drawn to the opportunity.
GCC has fit into Mary’s schedule which allows her to ride whenever and wherever. A key aspect to Mary’s style of riding is dedicating each ride to a certain individual(s). This has included the parents of the children with cancers, researchers from various health organizations that are looking to find a cure for cancer, her family members such as her nephew, doctors, nurses, etc. Everybody has someone they respect the greatest in their life. Because of the person's brave and courageous attitude, we admire them. In this case, Mary's adult nephew, who has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, serves as her inspiration. Despite all the difficulties he has faced, he continues to push hard to make every moment special.
Mary takes part in the Great Cycle Challenge outdoors on her recumbent bike from the comfort of her own home! A unique part of GCC that allows you to ride from anywhere, anytime. Mary has found fundraising through Great Cycle challenge to be easy when she uses her fundraising page. She then uses other approaches like regularly posting on Facebook and sending emails. Mary has valuable advice to pass along to anyone considering taking on the Great Cycle Challenge and fundraising for childhood cancer research. Her advice is: “Don’t be afraid to ask! All they can do is say yes or no. Don’t be afraid to try it! The camaraderie with fellow riders is so great. We have a Facebook group to share rides, falls, victories, stories, etc. The feeling that I’ve done something to help others beats all!” Mary has ridden 160 miles and raised over $11,000 to fight childhood cancer. Her inspiring accomplishments will advance research in the pursuit of a cure for childhood cancer.