ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Covering Katy News) – Seven Lakes High School graduate and University of Texas student Katie Goodfellow has spent the summer cycling from Austin, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska, in an effort to battle cancer, only to find out during the ride that her mother has been diagnosed with an incurable form of the disease.
“My mom was diagnosed on day 35 with liver cancer. I was in Montana at the time,” Katie said. “Right now, my mother’s options are limited because it’s inoperable,” she added. “They are trying some experimental forms of cancer treatment.”
Throughout the summer, Covering Katy has been updating its readers of Katie’s ride with the Texas 4000 for Cancer organization. She completed the ride yesterday, Aug. 11.
Texas 4000 has three separate teams of riders that left Austin in early June and headed to Anchorage on three different routes. Along the way they delivered checks to organization’s that fight cancer, educated people about preventing cancer, and raised additional funds that will be distributed on next year’s ride.
At the start, she was riding in the memory of a friend and mentor who had died from cancer. From day 35 on she was also riding for her mother. It was something she’d never imagined she’d be doing when the journey began back in Austin on June 2.
“Riding these past weeks has definitely taken on a whole new meaning and purpose. It’s been really hard to be away from home during this time. It’s a rare cancer that’s not easily beaten,” Katie said. “I never imagined that I’d be riding for my mom in this way.”
Even though Katie can’t be with her family, she has numerous teammates supporting her who are riding for their family members who have also been diagnosed with cancer, or died from the disease.
“I’m surrounded by teammates who know what it’s like,” she said. “I remember exactly what the phone call feels like,” Katie added.
Katie’s mother and father had moved overseas after she graduated from high school. Now they are back living in Houston to be close to the Texas Medical Center, where her mother’s cancer treatments are taking place.
Now that the ride to Alaska is completed she will reunite with her parents, brother and sister. The next challenge is one that will require a far different type of strength than cycling from Texas to Alaska.