At the end of his ride, Steve Baechler lay sprawled on the grass, exhausted but happy to have completed the 120 km ride alongside 40 other riders and Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France champion and cancer survivor.
The September 12 Ride with Lance event beat its goal of $1 million, raising $1.6 million for cancer care and research at Grand River Cancer Centre and the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital.
Diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2003, Steve was inspired by Lance Armstrong’s biography, bought his first bike and has been an avid cyclist ever since. Finishing the ride was particularly inspirational as Steve has recently completed radiation treatments following surgery to remove a second brain tumour.
With the support of family, friends and other supporters, Steve raised more than $44,000, earning him a place of honour at Lance Armstrong’s table as riders celebrated their success at a post-ride dinner on Saturday evening.
“The participation of Steve Baechler in the Ride with Lance was nothing short of amazing,” commented Nancy Hewat, Executive Director, Grand River Hospital Foundation. “He is a caring, passionate guy who put his heart and soul into the event.”