Valley woman to bike 500 miles for cancer fundraiser

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PHOENIX - Call it the trek of a lifetime. This week Valley resident Michelle Cooper will ride her bike  more than 500 miles from Arizona to Texas to raise money for breast cancer patients.

“I'm riding to Amarillo," she said. "I'll get there on May 7th, the day before mother's day, in honor of my mother who is a four year breast cancer survivor. Trying to raise money for those without health insurance who need some assistance. I've been practicing some hills, trying to get used to riding in the wind, riding in the rain, trying to prepare for every element I think I'll encounter along the way.”

She said she was inspired by her own mother’s battle against the disease.

“My mom is always so strong, to watch her have to fight was so hard,” said Cooper.

But it was what came after the treatments that motivated her to make the ride.

“Until you've been affected by it, you don't know how hard it can be and people don't see the bills that you get,” Cooper said, “She's not the only one fighting two battles, one to live, one to pay.”

Cooper said she's worked with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to ensure that the money she raises will stay in the communities she rides through.

“In these tough times they've had a really hard time raising money for people without health insurance,” she added.

Cooper is not going it alone. Her brother will be joining her in Albuquerque and other friends and family will join her for other parts of the journey.

She'll be tracking the trip on her blog

So far she’s raised nearly $4000 and inspired many followers to share her passion for biking, including her mom.

“She started biking because of this and her joint started loosening up and she started with one mile and just did her first 25 mile race,” said Cooper. “If I get nothing else out of this, its to inspire people to ride, to be active”

Cooper starts her journey Wednesday morning at 7am at the Fort McDowell casino in Fountain Hills.  If you'd like to donate to her cause, you can donate on her website