Last August, Robin Rugh was in the midst of the 150-mile Obliteride bike ride. As the end approached, she grew fatigued, but kept going.
“I didn’t give up on cancer, and I’m not going to give up on this ride,” the 50-year-old told herself.
Three years ago, Rugh went in for her routine mammogram, and doctors found a shadow. After a biopsy, she was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer.
Doctors gave her the choice of going through chemotherapy or having the cancer surgically removed. Nearly 15 years prior, Rugh watched her father go through chemo.
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“I saw what it did to him, and I didn’t want to go through that,” she said. “I had a really hard time with my diagnosis because of my dad, but my friends got me through it. They’ve all experienced some sort of cancer.”
Rugh’s father ultimately lost his fight with brain cancer in 1996. A single mother at the time, Rugh had no choice but to keep pushing forward.
Years later, she met her husband Patrick, a bike mechanic, and got hooked on cycling.
She’s done the Seattle to Portland race, and does training rides nearly every weekend that range anywhere from 30 to 90 miles.
Rugh’s husband of 15 years custom built her a bike with a carbon fiber frame painted in none other than black and orange, the colors associated with the Obliteride.
Last year when Rugh finished Obliteride, she was hurting, but proud of herself that she finished.
“I had my moments that I thought, ‘Why am I doing this?’” the Rogers High grad said. “I would stop, nibble on some snacks, and collect myself. I kept getting so worked up.”
This year, however, Rugh is anxious to see how much she has improved.
“This year, I promised myself I would kick some (tail),” she said.
After being a single mom for four years, she says she hasn’t had a choice other than to be strong and help others.
“Helping others is what I do,” she said. “Especially doing this ride, I want to help others by finding a cure for cancer. I don’t want anyone else to lose their dad.”
Rugh says her 19- and 21-year-old sons and her 18-month-old granddaughter will cheer her on come the day of the ride. Her husband will even ride with her on the second day of the event.
To donate to Rugh’s Obliteride, visit http://getinvolved.fhcrc.org/goto/robinrugh. She has $250 to go until she reaches her $2,000 fundraising goal.