Hawaiian shirts and cancer research don’t often go hand-in-hand. For GLY’s Obliteride team, the combination is an inspiration. The hibiscus flowers on the 2017 team jerseys are in honor of Jerry Cochrun, Sr., a Superintendent and Project Manager at GLY for 27 years who showed his joie de vivre by wearing Hawaiian shirts at every opportunity. To mark his enduring legacy, GLY contributed $5,000 to Fred Hutch in 2016 when we lost Jerry to pancreatic cancer.
This year we went even bigger. Bryce Taylor led the charge to set-up our own team, GLYrides4cure, and the participants blew past their $10,000 goal—raising over $21,000 for research at Fred Hutch in honor of not only Jerry, but others in the GLY family who battled cancer.
The mission, to eliminate cancer and related diseases, is the common thread tying together the cyclists and the communities they ride through for one weekend each August. Before that weekend arrives there’s fund-raising and training to accomplish. We asked our riders, “What gave you energy to reach the finish line?”
Tim Teteak, Senior Project Manager [50 m | 1 day] I chose to ride because I’m a cancer survivor. Nobody wants to hear his/her doctor say “sorry, you have cancer.” Riding 50 miles—small as it may be—gave me a chance to help researchers find cures and treatments to the many cancers confronting us today. As I struggled to make it up a few hills, I thought of cancer patients and their uphill struggles. This made my hills seem miniscule in comparison and gave me the strength to climb and push on. I will ride again next year.
Jim Elliott, Principal [50 m | 1 day] I rode in memory of Jerry and to support three of my close friends who have family members recently diagnosed with different types of cancer. Working on the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Clinic Expansion project team over the last year opened my eyes to the incredible work that Fred Hutch does. This institution is a world leader in cancer treatment, and we are fortunate to live in such close proximity to its research and treatment programs. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer—it’s important for us to support Fred Hutch and the necessary research and clinical trials to find a cure for cancer.
Mark Kane, Principal + COO [50 m | 1 day] Cancer has taken or severely impacted the lives of close family members, friends and work associates, all who are very near and important to me. To say I hate cancer is an understatement. Every year since its inception, Fred Hutchinson’s Obliteride gives me the chance to support the much-needed research to end cancer once and for all. As a community event, survivors, those currently battling cancer, and those hoping never to experience cancer’s devastation come together around the same cause: ending cancer sooner. This energetic camaraderie inspires those left saddened by this awful disease. I support Obliteride for the hope of a better future. Fred Hutchinson is our best tool in this battle, and I am happy to support such a worthwhile organization.
Bryce Taylor, Project Executive [50 m | 1 day] Obliteride is so much more than a bike ride. Cancer most likely touches every rider in some way—whether it is knowing someone suffering from the disease, losing someone, or surviving cancer him/herself. Each rider truly makes a personal statement when they sign up.
Ryan Weeger, Project Manager [50 m | 1 day] As I thought of family and friends who have dealt with cancer and how it affected their lives, training and raising funds to aid in the search for a cure was a no brainer. Joining fellow coworkers who were training and fundraising towards the same goal was really motivating and inspiring as well.
Myron Ramirez, Project Engineer [50 m | 1 day] My uncle was just diagnosed with cancer—inspiring me to participate in Obliteride. Thinking about his long battle ahead motivated me to keep pushing through the challenging course.