Bicycle Club Hosts Ride for Breast Cancer Awareness
May 27, 2021
On Sunday, May 23, the Krank It Up Ryderz Bicycle Club hosted it Annual Breast Cancer Survivorship Ride at Detroit's Palmer Park. More than 75 bicyclists from nearly a dozen bicycle clubs in the region, including Toledo, came out in support of the effort. Curtrise Garner of EZ Riders Bicycle Club of Detroit says, "I'm an avid cyclist...some of us ride regularly every day of the week then when there are special events like this, we come out and support other clubs."
Krank It Up Ryderz Club President Kewanee Henderson, better known as Kupcake, says the event's goal was to raise awareness of breast cancer. Henderson, who is currently battling breast cancer says, "I want to let everyone know that this illness is real; I want the women to go have their mammograms like they should." It was a mammogram that detected Henderson's breast cancer in 2017, when she was only 35. While traditional cancer guidelines suggest women begin annual mammogram screening at age 40, Henderson had her screening during a promotion offering gift card upon having a mammogram performed.
What followed was a frightening ordeal when her doctor called her into his office, says Henderson. "When I went, he told me that I was stage three breast cancer. I was scared to death," she recalls. She began radiation treatment and realized her family was just as frightened as she was and were unsure of how to support her. "In my mind, I'm thinking to myself that I'm in it by myself. But no, Kupcake, you're a fighter, you're going to get through this with or without anybody-you got this. And I had to keep telling myself that every day," she recalls. She forced herself to go to work, especially on days she had chemotherapy treatment. It gave her something to focus on.
"I tried to view everything positive and have a positive attitude. Mentally, this disease will drive you crazy and you have to stay busy at all times, stay occupied. It's been rough but I have a huge support system behind me...family and friends," she says.
Stephanie Montague is a candidate for membership in Krank It Up Ryderz and a two-time breast cancer survivor. She had been involved in the club's community service activities for three years and was impressed with the club's community outreach efforts, including a holiday bicycle giveaway for students in the Ecorse Schools District in 2019. She recently decided to join as a member. "It's all for good, nothing negative, and I really wanted to be part of that," she says. "I do believe in pushing and motivating women and giving them the knowledge to know what they need to look for and to get their mammogram." Montague works as a medical assistant and sees firsthand what people go through when dealing with cancer in themselves or a family member. She says the experience can be overwhelming, particularly in dealing with various medical specialists and procedures and having someone who understands can help them feel they are not alone.
Sunday's event included prayer, a pink balloon release and a 15-mile round trip bicycle ride from Palmer Park, down Conant Street to the Heidelberg Project and back. Kickstands went up just after 2 p.m. and riders returned to the park near 5 p.m. The bicyclists were escorted by team on motorbikes who helped to cease traffic so bikers could ride safely through intersections. Even a cloudburst could not dampen the enthusiasm of the riders as they returned to the park late in the afternoon and sought shelter from the rain.
Ecorse resident Aisha Hamell is a member of Krank It Up Ryderz. She was pleased with the assistance the club received from its own member and those in other clubs in its effort to highlight breast cancer. "They are the support," she says, adding that there is much encouragement for their club president in her battle with the cancer. "I'm a big supporter of breast cancer; she's not my first friend that had it, I've had friends die from it."
Krank It Up Ryderz is open for membership to anyone. Kupcake says to join the club's Facebook page and you can then message the club officers and express your interest. The club meets once each month and new members must abide by a 90-day probationary period before being voted in as a member. Find the club's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/groups/77