Bikers helping in the fight against cancer

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Annual Climb to Conquer Cancer raises $8,000 for survivors

SALUDA — Last year at this time, Stephen Howard was receiving chemotherapy cancer treatment at Gibbs Cancer Center, Spartanburg.

On Saturday, at John Cash’s annual Climb to Conquer Cancer bicycle ride, Howard cycled a total of 32 miles (four round trips from host Caro-Mi Dining Room) up Highway 176 almost into Saluda. Each ride up the Saluda Grade gains some 1,000 feet of elevation.

Stacey Williams (center), coordinator of Gibbs’s Survivorship Program, Crystal Humphries (right), a nurse in that program, and Rachel Childers (left) an employee at Nature’s Storehouse, Tryon, were available to provide material about the program, and to answer questions. (Photo by Mark Schmerling/Daily Bulletin Contributor)

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Howard was smiling broadly as he packed his bike back into his car.

All told, 25 riders turned out riding from one to 10 “laps.” Some riders used the climb to lead to other rides farther out in Polk and Henderson counties.

Cash said that, so far, the ride has raised some $8,000 for the Gibbs Survivorship Program.

Stephen Howard (left) and John Cash pose early Saturday morning before Cash’s 10th annual Climb to Conquer Cancer. So far, donors have given $8,000 to Gibbs Cancer Center’s Survivorship Program. (Photo by Mark Schmerling/Daily Bulletin Contributor)

Cash, a member of the Gibbs board, especially enjoys working with cancer survivors, whom he inspires, and who inspire him. This past ride was his 10th.

Cash thanked Caro-Mi for lending their outer parking lot, and Buck’s Pizza and Rize energy drinks for providing some of their products. He also thanked the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for providing an escort for the first ride up the Saluda Grade, and all the riders and non-riders who made donations.

For each climb, ride leader Cash adorns his vehicle with stickers to memorialize cancer victims, or to honor cancer survivors. Cash’s inspiration includes losing both his parents to cancer. (Photo by Mark Schmerling/Daily Bulletin Contributor)

Cash is still accepting donations for Gibbs. Donors may drop donations at Nature’s Storehouse, 427 S. Trade St., Tryon, or mail them to the store.