Wednesday, October 12, 2016 08:00 AM


About a dozen cyclists headed out for a ride from the UNC Wellness Center in Cary directly into the brunt of Hurricane Matthew this past Saturday morning. In doing so, and to honor and raise funds for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, many of the participants in the annual Pedal for Peds bike ride fundraiser braved driving rain and a 40-plus mile-per-hour headwind.

And yet, the seemingly-insurmountable elements cyclists faced Saturday were trivial set against the flood of challenges faced by the Division’s pediatric patients and their families.

“Headwind is nothing,” said Julie Blatt, a doctor with Pediatric Hematology Oncology and founder of the Pedal for Peds series. “It’s a good metaphor (for fighting cancer), but a little headwind? That’s nothing.”

Blatt pointed out the expenses and dizzying details faced by their patients and families dealing with a cancer diagnosis include trips to Chapel Hill for treatment, groceries, meals, fuel costs, and sometimes, sadly, funeral expenses.

“The demands of treatment are overwhelming,” Blatt added, “and many are expenses we have no control over.”

While riders set off on a ride of up to 50 miles along the American Tobacco Trail to honor and celebrate both cancer survivors and those ...

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See also: Wake Opthalmology