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Team Hotel Yorba Captain 10-year Survivor, Amputee Pedals to Put Cancer in its Place

Shay Hamer24 Hours of Booty of Atlanta is not your typical bicycle ride. People can ride a bicycle, tricycle, or unicycle as much or little as they want, whether that is one hour or 24 hours, one mile or 100 miles. Riders do not compete for time, placement, or ranking. They are a community united by one common goal—fighting together to beat cancer.

Team Hotel Yorba is not your typical team. It is led by a very inspirational resident of Sandy Springs, Shay Hamer. She is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a blogger, a business owner and a big-time survivor. Hamer has overcome challenges as an amputee (below the knee) and has been fighting cancer for 10 years. She’s still fighting, this year is her fifth time in treatment. This year she has challenged herself, and her family/friends to take part in 24 Hours of Booty of Atlanta.

“I was first diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, back in 2002,” said Shay Hamer, who started her latest treatment in August 2014. “This year is my fifth time back for cancer treatment. It was my father, who lives in Birmingham (Ala.), who suggested I register and ride 24 Hours of Booty, since it is right here in Sandy Springs. My son is nine years old and he is excited about the camping (in Bootyville).”

Due to treatments, Hamer hopes to ride at least one lap for the October 4-5 event. She is definitely planning to cheer on her teammates. She formed Team Hotel Yorba this summer, a nickname given to her home in Sandy Springs that was inspired by a 2001 song performed by The White Stripes.

“I enjoy riding a bicycle whenever I can, it’s a great form of exercise,” said Hamer.  “For me, this is the easiest thing for me – being an amputee makes some exercise difficult.”

Hamer rides along with her father, who has competed at the Senior Olympics. Together, they will ride to not only honor her fight against cancer, but to celebrate her uncle, who received a clean bill of health from cancer just two weeks ago.

“Being a working mom and wife living with cancer isn’t the easiest thing to do. I worry about the impact on my son all this will have, but we have always been honest with him. It is just the three of us so we are a tight group, Team Hamer. There have been times when we have had to step back and have some explain things and why they are happening. That is hard.  However because of them he opens up to me and tells and asks me all kinds of questions about life, growing up, school etc. that I am not sure he would have ask if we weren’t so open and honest,” added Hamer.

Even though cancer is serious business, the ride does not have to be. She anticipates the weekend will be a great adventure for her son, her family and her team. The family is shopping for a tent to use at Bootyville, the campground at the start/finish area where riders eat, listen to live bands, and recharge when not riding. The event is hosted at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School.

“All they got inside is vacancy” is a line from the song Hotel Yorba. There is still room for more teams at this year’s 24 Hours of Booty. Hamer and her Hotel Yorba team hope to be “sold out” and surpass their fundraising goal of $1,500 for this year’s ride. To donate to their fight against cancer, click here.

 

 

 

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Win a Klipsch Portable Wireless Music System

Klipsch_logoScreen Shot 2014-06-12 at 2.31.38 PMATLANTA RIDERS, our friends at Klipsch are really excited about 24 Hours of Booty.  We’re talking really, really excited. So excited that they want to celebrate by giving away a Klipsch KMC 1 Portable Wireless Music System to one lucky rider!  (Did I mention that it comes in 24 Hours of Booty orange?) There are two ways to win an entry – we’re keeping it simple!

  1. Raise $100 or more between Tuesday, September 9 and Friday, September 12 at 4:30 pm.
  2. Register to ride!

It will be a great week to get ahead on those fundraising commitments and start sending some emails! You can find tips on the best way to get started here. Good luck!

The Fine Print: 

  1. Eligibility: This contest is open to all participants registered for the 24 Hours of Booty 2014. 24 Hours of Booty employees, board members and their families are not eligible.  
  2. Agreement to rules: Participation in the contest constitutes full and unconditional agreement to the decisions of 24 Hours of Booty, which are final. All prizes are contingent on availability of apparel sizes and are not transferable. 24 Hours of Booty reserves the right to substitute prizes as needed.
  3. Period. The contest begins September 9, 2014 at 12:01 a.m. and will end at 4:30 p.m. on September 12, 2014.
  4. Entry: Entries will be based on the above criteria. You must be registered to qualify for prizes. 
  5. Selection: 24 Hours of Booty will award one Klipsch KMC 1 Portable Wireless Music System.
  6. Release of Liability: By participating in this contest, you agree to releases and hold harmless 24 Hours of Booty, Klipsch and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, sponsors from any claim arising from your participation in this contest or use of the prize (including any travel or activity related thereto).

Tax Implications: All participants who receive more than $600 in incentives must fill out a 1099-MISC as per the IRS. This may result in taxable income for you and you should consult a tax professional with questions.

 

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Strength in Numbers: Team Booty Tribe Wins ‘Rookie of the Year’

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 3.17.55 PM24 Hours of Booty is best defined by the word “community.” Community is what brings more than 500 people each year to Columbia, Md. to pedal to put cancer in its place. While the name “24 Hours of Booty” is an attention grabber on its own, word of mouth extends farther to bring a variety of people together committed to the cause to fight cancer. Word of mouth brought Team Booty Tribe together. While members of Team Booty Tribe each joined 24 Hours of Booty for different reasons, they together have become a strong force that saw great success for their first official event together.

In the summer of 2012, Robert Freedman read an article in the Baltimore Sun about a man named Bryan McMillian. In the article, McMillan was discussing sitting beside his friend in the hospital who was dying of cancer. The article also mentioned 24 Hours of Booty – an organization Bryan has been involved with for many years. Rob networked via LinkedIn to get in touch with Bryan who then put him in touch with Amanda Meyers, recruitment director for 24 Hours of Booty. Rob recruited his brother Scott who was an avid cyclist, along with a few friends and colleagues from Colliers International to form a team for the 2013 event. From there, Team Colliers was born.

“We had no idea what to expect and the simple fact was that we had an absolute blast!” Rob said. “We rode, we ate, we laughed, we raised money – it was just a very fun event with warm supportive riders, family and friends and strangers all coming together.”

Team Booty Tribe evolved from Team Colliers after Rob’s friend Deborah Adler wanted to ride in honor of her husband Harry, who was undergoing experimental cancer treatments. Together, Rob and Deborah spearheaded Team Booty Tribe and immediately began recruiting others to join them. The two pre-ordered 50 registrations and were fortunate to gain over 40 team members in the process.

With a solid team in place, Booty Tribe began ramping up their fundraising efforts by asking family and friends, as well as hosting “Bake your Booty Off” bake sales at various Colliers offices. As a new team for the 2014 24 Hours of Booty Columbia, Team Booty Tribe collectively raised over $12,000 to support the fight against cancer. The team’s strong numbers in both membership and fundraising dollars was the driving force behind them winning the Rookie of the Year award.

“[24 Hours of Booty] gives hope to people that don’t know what is next for them or friends or family,” Rob said. “It gives them a chance to try to ‘do something’ to beat a really crappy disease. For me, it checks a lot of boxes – I want to be outside, be with friends, be active, and camp outside a little. I like helping and raising money that you know will try to do some good. It has been a humbling experience of all the people that I have met, that have joined our team to support Deborah and Harry and me.”

To learn more how you can build your team and kick start your fundraising check out the tutorial pages below:

Also, don’t forget about chances to help you recruit for your team with the Atlanta Falcons Contest running now until the event on October 4-5th. Check out contest details here for your chances to win BOGO registration or a $10 discount!

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Volunteer Registration Now Open for 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta

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Volunteer registration is now open for the Fifth Annual 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta. This year’s charity cycling event is scheduled to roll through Sandy Springs’ Mount Vernon Woods neighborhood from 2 p.m., Saturday, October 4 to 2 p.m., Sunday, October 5 when participants will be riding and raising funds for the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Approximately 150 volunteers are needed to support this year’s Atlanta ride in areas, such as packet pick-up, pre-event course preparation and maintenance, food and beverage, campground management and parking and traffic control. Volunteer shifts are assigned in three and four-hour increments and opportunities are available for individuals and groups. All volunteers must register online at www.24hoursofbooty.org (click on the volunteer tab). For questions, contact 24 Hours of Booty at 877-365-4417.

“Our organization and events thrive off our amazing volunteer base which is instrumental in providing support year round and in all aspects of our rides,” said Basil Lyberg, executive director of 24 Hours of Booty. “There are volunteer opportunities for everyone. We encourage people to grab their friends and family and join our volunteer community to help put cancer in its place.”

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2014 Atlanta Falcons Contest

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Atlanta Riders & Friends – 

Football season is underway and it pays to follow the Atlanta Falcons this year! For every Falcons win between now and the event on October 4-5th 24 Hours of Booty will offer BOGO registration! Plus, if the Falcons do lose – YOU STILL WIN. For every loss, we will offer $10 off registration using discount code ATL10.

There are 5 chances to score registration deals for 24 Hours of Booty, make sure to tune in to the following games:

  • August 28th 6 p.m. | Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
  • September 7th 1 p.m. | Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
  • September 14th 1 p.m. | Atlanta Falcons vs. Cincinnati Bengals
  • September 18th 8:25 p.m. | Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • September 28th 4:25 p.m. | Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings

It’s a win-win for everyone – not only is it an excuse to sit back, relax and cheer on your home team, but it is also a fun way to join in the fight against cancer and ride to make a difference. Invite your friends to join you for 24 Hours of Booty on October 4-5th at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Sandy Springs!

Register for the 2014 24 Hours of Booty Atlanta today!

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More Than Just Athleticism: Triathlete Rides to Honor Loved Ones

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 12.55.08 PMAthleticism is not a defining factor when it comes to participating in 24 Hours of Booty. Each event is open to riders of all levels. 24 Hours of Booty attracts riders who are just hopping back on a bike after years and others such as Hannah Glassman, who are well accustomed to riding. As a triathlon athlete, Hannah has had much practice with cycling over the past few years. Cycling has become one of her passions – a passion that sparked her interest to get involved with Hours of Booty Columbia.

“My triathlon teammates and friends have been participating over the past years,” Hannah said,  “Hearing their heartfelt stories and many reasons for why they ride motivated me to join their team.”

Like many of her teammates, she made the decision to ride in honor of the many family and friends she had that lost their battle with cancer. One friend in particular has been her motivation to continue to ride as he is still currently fighting the disease.

“I rode in honor of all my loved ones and friends affected by cancer, specifically a young man named Ian Godman,” Hannah said. “He’s still fighting and kicking cancer’s butt so I’ll be riding again this year.”

Competing in triathlons helps Hannah prepare for the 24 Hours of Booty event each year.  The event takes place at the end of her triathlon season, making her body well prepared for the long ride.

“Long distances have never been my thing, but the increase in training frequency and intensity during those shorter distances definitely helped my endurance for the event,” Hannah said

24 Hours of Booty has been life changing to many riders. Although some may not have experienced cancer themselves, riders are inspired being surrounded in an environment of many strong individuals who refuse to give up the fight.

Although Hannah is a triathlete, this ride is about more than athleticism. It’s about fighting cancer and riding for those who are unable to ride themselves.

“Sometimes the world can be bleak, so it’s extremely refreshing to be around such a great group of people, out there riding for the benefit and honor of others,” Hannah said.

 

 

 

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Feeling Fortunate: Jeff Cohen’s Lifesaving Bone Marrow Transplant

Holiday JPH 2012v3At the ripe age of 29, Charlotte rider Jeff Cohen was enjoying life with his friends vacationing in Costa Rica, not letting a few swollen glands stop him from extending his beach stay. After returning from vacation, Jeff spoke with his father, who was a physician, about his swollen glands and he suggested that Jeff see a hematologist. Test results indicated Jeff had an aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the young age of 29.  Initial staging indicated there was no bone marrow involvement, which was relatively good news, but Jeff’s chronically worried father said he should get a second opinion on the staging, and he obliged.  The second opinion indicated Jeff did have bone marrow involvement and was in Stage 4.

“How could that be?,” Jeff Cohen said upon hearing his diagnosis.  “I had just had a very complete physical 6 months prior and had a perfectly clean bill of health!  What do you mean there is no Stage 5?  I still felt just fine.”

At the time of his diagnosis, not only was Jeff trying to process that he had cancer, but he was trying to decide how to tell his girlfriend of only a few months. Jeff later came to realize his girlfriend always rooted for the underdog and she stood by him through the entire treatment process. Also, Jeff was very fortunate for having a worrisome father who insisted he look further into his diagnosis. Jeff spend the next year receiving excellent care at The Mayo Clinic.

“I recall leaving sunny Tampa, Florida where it was in the mid-80s and arriving in Rochester, Minnesota where it was -18 degrees – 100 degree swing, brrr.” Jeff said. “I rented a house in town and thought about those that did not have the means to travel to a world class institution to receive their care – I felt very fortunate.”

With each phase of my treatment the goal was to reach remission, with the end game being a successful bone marrow transplant (BMT).

“I placed my hope and faith in the hands of the world class clinicians,” Jeff said.  “But with each successive phase of chemotherapy, remission remained elusive – cancer can be tough that way.  I never really felt bad before I was diagnosed and quite frankly I did not feel too bad during my courses of treatment.  A little nausea now and again, and some days I was pretty tired.  I saw others around me that were not so fortunate.”

Of the treatments, radiation was the worst part of the process, but when finished with the treatments Jeff was finally declared to be in remission. The next step in the process was to determine if one of his three siblings might be a match and provide the necessary bone marrow for my transplant.  Jeff was fortunate to be the youngest of four siblings. The testing started with his brother who was the oldest, but  he was not  even close to a match.  Then his oldest sister was tested and received the same result.  At this moment Jeff was very worrisome, but was aware of the possible matches he could find  through the Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry.

“I remained hopeful that my other sister might be a close enough match,” Jeff saif.  “And as it turns out she was a perfect match.  My childhood sibling nemesis had just become my life saving “Marrow Maiden,” as she would be affectionately referred to thereafter. I again felt so very fortunate.”

This past July, Jeff celebrated his 17 year BMT anniversary with his wonderful wife (that girl he had only been dating for a few months, who stayed by his side throughout the process and all of the years since) and his 11 year old daughter who is the joy to their lives. Jeff felt very grateful that his father had the chance to get to know his granddaughter before losing his battle with pancreatic cancer several years ago.

There is a recurring theme throughout Jeff’s story – incredibly good fortune.

“I have had such incredibly good fortune, much more than most,” Jeff said.  “And because of that I have tried to give back and help others afflicted by cancer.  One of the ways I have done that is by participating in 24 Hours of Booty for the past several years here in Charlotte, NC.  Be The Match is another amazing way that we can help those that are not as fortunate as I was to have had a family member that was able to donate their marrow.  A simple swab of the cheek is all it takes to be added to the registry and potentially save a life someday.  How incredible is that?  With very little effort you can be the good fortune for someone in need.”

For more information about Be The Match and how you can join the Bone Marrow Registry visit: www.bethematch.org. YOU could be the cure and help others like Jeff get the lifesaving transplant they need.

 

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Jessica Tanner’s Triumph Over Cancer

Jessica Tanner (rider)As a breast cancer survivor, Jessica Tanner has been finding ways to find support and participate with organizations that give back to cancer research and programs. Jessica first got involved with cycling through the Ulman Cancer Fund’s first Key to Keys ride in Florida.

“Key to Keys brought me back from my cancer, it gave me confidence as a rider, made me love cycling with a group and helped me realize that the people who care about me and know my story don’t mind when I ask them to support organizations that help people like me,” said Jessica Tanner.

The Ulman Cancer Fund’s Key to Keys allowed Jessica to get involved with 24 Hours of Booty Columbia in 2013.

“I had caught the cycling bug and 24 Hours of Booty gave me an opportunity to test my mettle, fundraise for a wonderful cause that is near to my heart and engage with other riders in a safe and fun environment,” Jessica said. “I rode 125 miles that day, which was a new personal best.”

Jessica has not been shy about using her story and triumph over cancer as the forefront of her ongoing attempt to fundraise. By writing to friends and family that have supported her over the years she has been able to receive generous donations to meet her fundraising for 24 Hours of Booty.

“I love that anyone with a bike can participate in 24 Hours of Booty,” Jessica said. “Some riders only do a few laps and others do hundreds, yet they all made a difference.  That’s a lesson I live by. “

 

 

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LIVESTRONG Leader Aims to Improve Life of Cancer Patients

Rafael MatosRafael Matos recently completed his Doctorate in Psychology, during which time he studied social and behavioral elements that affect the guilt felt by someone after surviving a traumatic event. In his self-imposed post-doctoral studies he hopes to find a parallel to soldiers demonstrating symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after coming back from war and the feelings of guilt for being alive that some cancer patients experience.

“I think we can learn a lot from what has been done with our military members and the experiences they had, and compare them to the behaviors of cancer survivors,” Rafael Matos said. “There are resources for psychological evaluation and treatment that are very similar. Some of these resources could be allocated to assist cancer survivors who exhibit similar behaviors to those of military members with PTSD. I would like to build a coalition that would explore these connections, and implement a program that can be used to support cancer survivors experiencing survivor guilt worldwide”

Even though there is still much that needs to be evaluated and implemented to improve the lives of people affected by cancer, Rafael believes that serving as a LIVESTRONG Leader allows him to assist and influence the establishment of programs for a better health of cancer patients. Rafael has served as a LIVESTRONG Leader for two years after being introduced to it in 2012 by a close friend. Having lost his grandfather to cancer at an early age and after having seen other family members and friends battling cancer, Rafael knew he wanted to be a part of the support system that assists patients to live productive lives.

“The best thing about being a LIVESTRONG leader is having the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, one person at a time,” Rafael said. “I have access to tremendous resources that I can make available to improve the lives of individuals from the moment of cancer diagnosis, through treatment and post treatment activities. It is very rewarding to see any one of these individuals living life full. I celebrate my own life every time I see them helped”.

Through LIVESTRONG Rafael met Bryan McMillan, also a LIVESTRONG Leader and team captain of Team BootySTRONG for 24 Hours of Booty Columbia. The meeting led him to participate in his first 24 Hours of Booty last year.

 

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Relax & Ride

Paul LemleThe reason to ride in 24 Hours of Booty is different for every individual, but most share one common reason – to support a great cause.  As a cancer survivor, Paul Lemle made the decision to join others in the fight against cancer. He has experienced first hand the physical, mental and emotional struggles of fighting cancer. Now that he has beaten the disease, he wants to help others as they continue to push forward.

“I decided to ride in 24 Hours of Booty because of the organization’s local beneficiary, the Ulman Cancer Fund,” said Paul Lemle.  “As a survivor, I share the mission to make sure no one fights alone. “

Unlike some folks who ride in the event to attain mileage goals, he prefers to relax and enjoy the ride. With hopes of good weather, he plans to ride in the Columbia event for what will be his second year.

“Booty is so easy – you really don’t need to train for it unless you are eyeballing a hairy personal goal,” Paul said.  “I’m bringing a beach cruising bike with a mobile boom box attached, and don’t plan to go very fast!”

The atmosphere has had a great impact on Paul. Being a very relaxed type of guy, enjoying Bootyville and its surroundings comes with great ease.

“The relaxed pace and fun atmosphere is what I enjoy most,” Paul said.  I had a great time with the other riders, including a late night cheering section turned water fight/rider ambush!”

Participating in 24 Hours of Booty has changed his entire outlook on the many different methods to fighting cancer. It has allowed him to stay involved and continue motivating others who are currently experiencing what he has previously been through with cancer.

“Being a 24 Hours of Booty rider gives me something new to talk about with folks who are wondering how they can fight for people with cancer,” Paul said.  “I’ve done the Ulman Fund’s ride to Key West the past two years, and Booty is a much more accessible challenge for people on the sidelines looking for a way to get in the game!”

 

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