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Liv/giant Story

Emily Avail Inspire

Liv/giant Avail Inspire

April 2, 2012

In October 2011, the Young Survival Coalition (YSC) and Liv/giant held a contest that challenged young breast cancer survivors to design graphics for a special-edition Liv/giant Avail road bike. The winner’s design would be applied to a bike, the sales of which would benefit the YSC. As the bike designs came in, one particular submission rose to the top—it was the only design that included a theme. That theme was Inspire, and that submission belonged to Emily Gresh of West Hartford, Connecticut.

“For me,” Emily explained, “putting the word inspire on the bike speaks to both the very personal experiences that go with breast cancer and the great power of a visible community. It acts as a reminder of what is possible in life, and in living post-cancer, and how much support we have to help us through.”

Emily’s Story

Along with the bike design, contestants were asked to provide a story about their design and their breast cancer experience. Each woman who submitted a design has her own unique experience, and each experience resulted in interaction with the Young Survival Coalition, a community of support for young survivors of breast cancer. This is an excerpt from Emily’s story:

“My husband and I met backstage in Boston when I was a young professional ballet dancer—new to Boston and the Boston Ballet. I had an eight-year career with this company. It was a life of fierce athleticism, great artistic satisfaction, and wonderful camaraderie between passionate, hardworking and disciplined young women and men.

In 2004, years after I left dancing to pursue my education and raise my young daughter, I found a lump in my left breast on Mother’s Day. It was benign. Soon after, my mother experienced a second occurrence of breast cancer, and my aunt (my mother’s sister) passed away after her second occurrence. Just prior to the six-year mark of my lumpectomy, a friend reminded me of the guidelines for women who are high risk—that I should get my annual mammogram. I did. It showed that I had early stage breast cancer.”

Finding the Tour de Pink

As Emily dealt with the realities of breast cancer treatment and recovery, she was searching for hope and reassurance that she could regain her health and enjoy her life again. This search, much of it online, resulted in the discovery of the Young Survival Coalition and their fund-raising rides, the Tour de Pink.

“When I saw young women doing the Tour de Pink,” said Emily, “it was like looking into the eyes of people like me who had been where I was going. I saw in the ride, in those faces, a community of people who in the very act of being together cycling were also bearing the weight of what they had been through. I wasn’t sure how on earth I was going to bear what I was going through when I was first diagnosed, but here were other people who had gotten through and had found each other along the way.”

Cycling as Therapy

Emily did not consider herself a cyclist before learning about the Tour de Pink, but an incredible group of friends helped her get ready for the 3 days of saddle time.

“I had this great worry that I wouldn’t be able to keep up,” Emily recounted. “I kept asking my friend James, ‘What if I can’t keep up?’ James kept replying, ‘If you fall behind, I will wait for you.’ Riding, like recovery, involved waiting for myself, waiting for others, and letting the people I was closest to help me; telling others the truest and most difficult realities of what I was facing, so we could experience all of it together. That is perhaps the most powerful and inspiring thing in all of life.”

2012 YSC Tour de Pink Rides

The 2012 Tour de Pink East Coast ride rolls from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., September 28-30. The 2012 Tour de Pink West Coast ride rolls from Thousand Oaks, California to Foothill Ranch, California, October 12-14. To participate in a Tour de Pink ride, and to learn more about the Young Survival Coalition, visit Youngsurvival.org.

Liv/giant Avail Inspire

Proceeds from sales of the Liv/giant Avail Inspire, as well as proceeds from sales of Liv/giant Inspire jerseys, socks, and water bottles are being donated to the YSC. The limited-edition Liv/giant Avail Inspire road bike is available at the following Liv/giant Retailers You can also visit our Store Finder to find your local retailer’s contact info to inquire about the Liv/giant Avail Inspire and accessories.

Liv/giant Avail Inspire Retailers:

A Bicycle Odyssey, Sausalito, CA
All-Star Bike Shop, Inc. Raleigh, NC
Andy Jordan's Bicycle Center, Augusta, GA
Bay Area Bikes, Oakland, CA
Berkshire Bike And Board, Berkshire, MA
Bicycle Garage Indy WHS, Indianapolis, IN
Bicycle Trip, Santa Cruz, CA
Bicycles Etc., Lake Forest, CA
Bicycles of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK
Bike Express, Danbury, CT
Bike N' Hike Centers, Corvallis, OR
Bike World Iowa, Des Moines, IA
Bikers Edge, Kaysville, UT
Bikes Plus, Inc., Germantown, TN
Blood, Sweat, Gears Inc, Denver, NC
Bluffton Bicycle Shop, Bluffton, SC
Bokoo Bikes, Chanhassen, MN
Bothell Ski & Bike, Kenmore, WA
Bushwhacker, Peoria, IL
Cal Bicycles, Livermore, CA
Century Cycle Rocky, River, OH
Century Cycles, Medina, OH
Century Cycles, Peninsula, OH
City Bike Shop, Traverse City, MI
Coates Bicycles, Pomona, CA
Crazy Cat Cyclery, El Paso, TX
Cycle Works, Lincoln, NE
Cycles-N-Sports, Worth, IL
Cyclesport, Chico, CA
Cycling & Fitness Concepts, Rocky Hill, CT
Dave's Cycle & Fitness, Cos Cob, CT
Derby Bicycle Center, Denver, CO
Don’s Bicycle Store, Redlands, CA
Don’s Bicycle Store, Rialto, CA
East Providence, Cycle Riverside, RI
Eastbank Schwinn, Kenner, LA
Eau Claire Bike & Sport, Eau Claire, WI
Eden Bicycles, Castro Valley, CA
Epic Outdoor Adventures, Inc., Fayetteville, NY
Folsom Bike, Folsom, CA
Gannett Peak Sports, Lander, WY
Gorham Bike & Ski, Portland, ME
Halter's Cycles Monmouth, Junction, NJ
High Sierra Cyclery, Reno, NV
Javelina Cycles, Phoenix, AZ
Knobbies & Slicks Bike Shop, Colleyville, TX
Metro Bicycle Stores, Bronx, NY
Mountain Road Cycles, Chagrin Falls, OH
Outspokin Family Bicycles, Clearwater, FL
Parvilla Cycle and Multisport, Edgewater, MD
Pedal Power Bike Shop, Lexington, GA
Pedal Power Bike Shop, Lexington, KY
Princeton Sports, Baltimore, MD
Ray’s Bike Shop, Midland, MI
Riverfront Cycles, Lansing, MI
roll: at Polaris, Columbus, OH
roll: on Main Street, Columbus, OH
Roswell Bicycles, Roswell, GA
South County Cycles, Saint Louis, MO
South Side Cyclery, Saint Louis, MO
Spin Doctor Cyclewerks, Bartlett, IL
Spokes, Wheaton, IL
Sports Center, Seaside, CA
Sunshine Bicycles, Athens, GA
Taylor's Bike Shop, Provo, UT
Taylor's Bike Shop, Provo, UT
The Competitive Edge Cyclery, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
The Freewheel, San Francisco, CA
The Stable, Saginaw, MI
The Hub, Napa, CA
Tony's Bicycle, Inc., Astoria,, NY
Trans Am Cyclery, Farmington, MO
Valley Bike & Ski Shops, Apple Valley, MN
Village Bike Shop, Jenison Jenison, MI
West Bicycles, Knoxville, TN
Westwood Cycle Inc., Westwood, NJ
Windsor Bicycle Center, Windsor, CA