Biking for a cause in Amherst

Riding in the race is a way to give back to families still fighting cancer

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 200 cyclists were in Amherst Sunday morning for Katelynn’s ride, an annual event that raises money for children fighting cancer.

The annual ride is in memory of Katelynn Battista, who lost her battle with cancer at the age of 11. Kids currently fighting cancer and their families come to the race every year, and Kaitlynn’s father said the race aims to support them during their struggle.

Domenic Battista said “Any family going through childhood cancer is going through a stressful time in their lives. We’ve been through it, our family has been through it. We try to support those families as best we can”.

Battista said they share their support emotionally, and by raising money for Baystate Medical Center’s Sadowsky Center for Children. This year was the 17th annual Katelynn’s ride, and since it began, the charity has raised more than two million dollars for kids fighting cancer.

For cancer survivor Joseph Gilbertie, riding in the race is a way to give back to families still fighting through it.

Gilbertie said “It was a very trying time. Finally, getting the clean bill of health, it was like a huge burden lifted off, and I wanted to be able to give back, and help others that are going through the same situation”.

Cyclists like David Cote said people come together to support the great cause behind Katelynn’s ride. Cote said “Oh yeah it’s awesome, it’s an excellent ride. I mean you know, you’ve got people greeting you in the parking lot thanking you for coming, and it’s just fantastic, it’s a good cause. I can’t even imagine to be honest. That’s what I think about, the parents and what they are going through”.

Katelynn’s dad shared what his daughter would say if she could see the ride for herself, saying “Nothing is ever hard to do, if your faith is strong and your purpose is true”.

The race routes ranged from 6 to 100 miles, starting and ending at Hampshire College.