AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Katelynn’s Ride is an annual all-day event that helps raise money for local children going through cancer treatment. 22News heard personal stories from participants on why they ride.
The Bradley family has reason to celebrate: 9-year-old Luke finished leukemia treatment in April. On Saturday, he was the ambassador for the 14th annual Katelynn’s Ride and Walk.
“Knowing all that the funds do for families like us and we’ve been the recipients of what this can do and it just means a lot to us and we’re grateful, we’re honored and we’re also pretty happy people right now,” said Luke’s dad, Ryan Bradley.
The family from South Hadley joined others riding 10 miles. Others rode 25, 50 or 100 miles, or walked a 5k, all to raise money for the Dana Farber Institute and Bay State Medical Center’s children’s cancer center, the Sadowsky Center for Children.
“I’m gonna beat my dad,” said Luke, about the 10 mile bike ride the family was going on.
Luke wasn’t the only young cancer survivor riding his bike. He met up with young cancer survivor, Adam Rossmeisl, whose whole family came out to support the cause.
“There’s so many stories. There’s so many people that have been touched by cancer. and everyone you talk to has their own personal reasons for riding this and I have lots of them.,” Jeff Newman, a cancer survivor, told 22News when we caught up with him at the 50 mile checkpoint for the 100 mile bike ride.
Katelynn Battista lost her battle with cancer when she was just 11 years old in 1997, but since then dozens of children just like her have benefitted from this ride in her memory.
“She meant a lot to the community and the family and we loved her but there’s people who picked up the cause and wanted to do something and they started Katelynn’s Ride,” Domenic Battista, Katelynn’s father, told 22News.
This was a record-breaking year with nearly 300 bikers and walkers.
“Helps kids locally and the kids in the valley that are directly affected by cancer every day and its just incredibly valuable to have their support, the kids and the families,”
Organizers were confident they reached this year’s unofficial goal of $100,000 raised in one day. They’re accepting donations through August. You can donate here.