The four women were friends. What brought them together wasn't a common hobby, sorority or even another friend. It was ovarian cancer.
To help fight the disease, Jill Bach, Helen Gardner, Lynn Lentscher and Julie Shrell, survivors at different stages, founded Be the Difference Foundation in 2012 and started Wheel to Survive, an indoor cycling fundraiser. The event benefits programs for women battling ovarian cancer and provides research dollars for a cure. To date, Wheel to Survive has raised more than $1.8 million from events in Dallas, Austin, San Francisco and San Diego. Its inaugural Houston event, on Sunday, Sept. 25, is co-chaired by Tracey Blumrosen and Tami Sheena, who hope to attract 300 riders.
The $50 entry fee includes a commemorative T-shirt, free training rides and a goodie bag. Participants are required to raise at least $250 for each rider on a relay team. Proceeds will support MD Anderson's Breast and Ovarian Cancers Moon Shot.
Gardner succumbed to the disease in 2014, but her friends continue the fight.
"With statistics as they are, it's time to change them for our mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends," says Bach.