Cancer patients, friends and doctors are biking this Sunday in hopes of curing cancer.
The event, called “The Ride,” is put on by the Department of Human Oncology. Participants will bike up to 100 miles in Sun Prairie Sunday to raise money to fight cancer. The event is very near to Karla Pinkerton’s heart who lost her husband last year to cancer.
“Being on the bike is the closest that I feel to him often,” Pinkerton said.
It was that love of biking and the outdoors that brought Karla and Ben Pinkerton from Virginia to Madison in the first place.
“We wanted to move to a city that was cool, outdoorsy, had a good local food scene, where we could go running and cycling,” Pinkerton said.
The young couple quickly made a home for themselves. They got married and had a baby. Madison was the place they chose to build a life, but they had no idea it would be the place where Ben would fight for his.
“2014 was going to be the year of the baby, instead it sort of became the year of cancer,” Pinkerton said.
Ben was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
“It was completely out of left field, not what we were expecting at all,” Pinkerton said.
With a baby on the way, Ben and Karla decided to fight hard. And in the middle of chemo and countless trips to the UW Carbone Cancer Center, Daniel was born.
“He wanted to be alive so that Daniel would remember him,” she said.
Ben held on for long enough to watch his son grow.
“Just being almost normal parents to a newborn was really nice,” Pinkerton said.
But it didn't work out like they wanted; he passed away just 10 months later, at age 37.
“He fought till the very end,” Pinkerton said.
Now Karla is left fighting for her husband's memory. On Sunday, she plans on doing it in the most appropriate way, with a bike ride.
“I think it will help show Daniel who his dad was and what was important to him,” she said.
Karla will take part in "The Ride" a fundraiser for the UW Carbone Cancer Center. The hope is that this event will keep anyone from else from ever having to ride alone, again.
To help the "The Ride" go to Theridewi.org and click on donate.