RAGBRAI XLIII Countdown – July 19-25, 2015
Friends of RAGBRAI

RAGBRAI news team

Wheels in motion to stop cancer



Tricia Roberts was 35 when she got the news she was at high risk for developing breast cancer. At 36, she underwent a preventive double mastectomy.

Now, four years later, the western Iowa woman is turning to one of Iowa’s most popular summer events to help raise awareness about the disease and promote breast health education, particularly among young women.

“Women need to know enough about their bodies to know when something is changed and something is wrong,” said Roberts, of Dunlap.

That’s why she’s advocating for participants, spectators and volunteers to wear pink July 22, the second day of cycling on the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

The “Pink Out” is an effort “to show support for women currently battling breast cancer and those who have survived and to honor those who’ve lost the battle,” Roberts said.

RAGBRAI Director T.J. Juskiewicz said he gets countless requests from charities and nonprofit organizations to partner with the ride that attracts more than 10,000 riders each summer. The Pink Out is not an official part of RAGBRAI, but Juskiewicz did give Roberts the green light to promote it.

In addition to raising awareness, Roberts will be raising money for Check the Girls, a nonprofit organization she formed last year to educate young women and provide free mammograms for Iowans. Roberts has plans to set up in Shelby when RAGBRAI rolls through Sunday to sell pink T-shirts for the next day’s ride.

Roberts sought more information on her own breast cancer risk after her mother and maternal grandmother were diagnosed with the disease. She has not been tested for the defective BRCA1 gene that significantly increases a woman’s odds of developing breast cancer.

Actress Angelina Jolie made headlines last month after announcing she had undergone a preventative double mastectomy after learning she had the defective gene.

For Roberts, the decision came after breast tissue biopsies revealed pre-cancerous cells. Doctors said she had a 65 percent chance of developing the disease.

“I was visualizing something brewing and just waiting to explode,” she said. “I felt like a sitting duck and didn’t want to play the wait-and-see game.”

Since founding Check the Girls in 2012, Roberts has focused on providing mammograms to women who are considered low income, uninsured or under-insured in a five-county region in western Iowa. She has been partnering with the Iowa Breast and Cervical Screening Program, known locally as Care for Yourself, an initiative of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

That program generally serves women from 40 to 64 years old. Check the Girls typically helps those younger than 40, particularly if they’ve found issues with their breasts, Care for Yourself program coordinator Karla Akers said.

“Especially women who’ve had breast cancer history in their families, they need to know where to turn,” Akers said.

Roberts says the program has provided mammograms for more than a dozen women so far. She’s hoping that with more fundraising, Check the Girls can expand its reach. “I want to be able to spread the message across the entire state of Iowa and let it grow from there,” she said.

1 Response on “Wheels in motion to stop cancer

barb

June 7, 2013 at 2:04 am

How can I get a shirt? Thanks

Leave a Reply

Advertisement

Latest Blog Posts

  • Guess the Route Contest for RAGBRAI XLIII is Now Open!

    Do you think you can pick the eight overnight towns for RAGBRAI XLIII? Enter the contest and see how close you come. Last year, 6 of 8 towns was the best ...

  • Get in Gear for RAGBRAI XLIII - 2015 Jerseys Released!

    We are pleased to introduce the official 2015 RAGBRAI XLIII jersey!

  • Introducing the RAGBRAI XLIII Logo!

    We are excited to reveal our new logo for RAGBRAI XLIII and 2015!

  • RAGBRAI XLII Survey Results

    All of us here at RAGBRAI would like to thank those who took the time to complete the surveys after RAGBRAI XLII.  4,470 online surveys were completed, providing ...

  • Des Moines Could Move Part of Great Western Trail

    A section of the popular Great Western Trail in Des Moines would no longer pass through Willow Creek Golf Course, under a plan being pursued by the course's owner.

  • Lost and Found on RAGBRAI®

    Did you get home from RAGBRAI with less than what you started with?  Lost wallets, drivers licenses, and credit cards have already been returned to their owners.  We have several ...

  • Merchandise Returns and Exchanges

    Want to return or exchange an item you purchased on RAGBRAI? Here's how.

  • Meet the woman who rode RAGBRAI in combat boots

    Riders handed her cash from spandex pockets and small-town American Legions put up tip jars to help along the way. So far, Hameister’s raised more than $1,700 for the campaign, ...

  • RAGBRAI Reflections with John Karras

    by John Karras, Grampa RAGBRAI A strange, but predictable, thing happened this year to Ann and I on our way to our umpteenth time to ride RAGBRAI–we were physically unable to ...

  • Rock Valley's Jaydn Faber Wins the RAGBRAI Kid's Art Contest

    The children of the RAGBRAI XLII overnight communities were invited to participate in the annual RAGBRAI Kids’ Art Contest.  The contest called for students in kindergarten through fifth grade to ...

Latest Videos

  • We are excited to reveal our new logo for RAGBRAI XLIII and 2015! If you join us on our ride across the state next year, you’ll be sure to see welcoming Iowans, lots of farmland and… well you’ll just have to watch the video to find out.

  • Bicyclist Shawn Gosch of Onawa was hit and killed June 20, 2014, by a motorist on Iowa Highway 7 west of Manson. Under Iowa law, the driver of the vehicle was charged with a misdemeanor for unsafe passing and fined little more than $1,550.

  • Look back on the ride of 2014 in this video highlight reel.

  • A group of friends from Canada spent the week on RAGBRAI and recount their best moments.

  • As RAGBRAI XLII comes to an end, friends from California talk about the emotion behind dipping their tires into the Mississippi River at the end of the ride.

  • Riders react at the Guttenberg dip site.

  • Riders stopped for photos on a bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River at Guttenberg.

  • Iowan "Bachelorette" competitor Chris Soules greets riders in Strawberry Point

  • Former Iowa Hawkeye and NFL tight end Dallas Clark talks about his second RAGBRAI and his hope of someday moving his family back to Iowa.

  • The LeBeaus are known as royalty in Iowa and for their funky socks!

Find us socially

Email Signup

Sign up for the latest RAGBRAI news and notes (if there is no news in a day, you won’t get an e-mail).

© 2014 RAGBRAI | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy