10th Annual Bike to
Beat Cancer benefits
Norton Cancer Institute
BY ANGIE FENTON
PHOTOS BY JAMIE RHODES COURTESY
OF NORTON HEALTHCARE
Jeremy Sprecher’s bike isn’t exactly a sleek, aerodynamic vehicle that’s going to win any awards for its design or efficiency, but the $100 he dropped for it nearly a decade ago is paying off.
In that span of time, the New Albany resident – and his trusty two-wheeler – has raised “a little more than $68,000” as a participant in Bike to Beat Cancer, benefiting Norton Cancer Institute. The annual event, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on Sept. 8, draws hundreds of people who choose from 15-, 35-, 65- or 100-mile rides, a 5-mile family ride, an hour-long spin ride and even a virtual ride for those who can’t or don’t want to peddle for a purpose but still feel called to support the endeavor to beat cancer.
Sprecher, who serves as facility vice president of finance and operations for Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital, learned about Bike to Beat Cancer at work and decided to sign up, thinking it would make a good athletic challenge and “maybe it will make a difference someday.”
That first year, he committed to raising $2,500 but knew he couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket. After all, he and his wife Kirsten had two children and one on the way. “That’s when I came up with the idea for a golf scramble.”
The initial Sprecher Outing, as it’s called, was held at Doe Valley in Brandenburg, Kentucky. Thanks to his supporters and fellow golf enthusiasts, nearly $6,000 was raised for Bike to Beat Cancer. The annual affair is now held at Valley View Golf Club in Floyds Knobs on the last Saturday in July.
Last year’s tournament raised $11,000 for Norton Cancer Institute, which means Sprecher’s total donations could reach or exceed nearly $80,000 (Editor’s Note: Extol Magazine went to press prior to the 2018 scramble).
Bike to Beat Cancer has now become a family endeavor, with Sprecher’s wife and children – Isabel, 14; Gretchen, 12; and Mitchell, 9 – all taking part in the 35-mile ride. “The older the kids get, the more interested they are, and they’ve willingly participated in the efforts,” he said. “We do this together.”
And that includes Sprecher’s Schwinn. “It’s something that probably came out when I was 10 to 15 years old, and I’m 41 now,” Sprecher laughed. “They call me cheap and a tightwad for not buying a new bike, but it works great.”
Sprecher’s enthusiasm about the mission of Bike to Beat Cancer works just as well and has led to numerous friends and family members signing on to ride, assist with the scramble and support the cause.
“At the end of the day, what I try to tell myself is to think about the amount of effort folks with cancer have to put forth to fight through a treatment plan” compared to what it takes to train and complete Bike to Beat Cancer, Sprecher said. “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and just do it for them.”
BIKE TO BEAT CANCER
NORTON CANCER INSTITUTE BROWNSBORO
4955 NORTON HEALTHCARE BLVD.