Why I Ride: Megan Kophs

megans team
Megan Kophs (second from right) and her Obliteride teammates at the Finish Line at Gas Works Park.

Megan Kophs, mom of three, has many reasons to ride.

Her own mom—who she describes as “the most health-conscious person I know”—was diagnosed with cancer in 2000.

“It was a really scary time and a wake-up call,” Kophs says.

Her mom was successfully treated and is cancer free. Kophs’ grandparents and several other relatives and multiple friends have battled cancer too. Her grandfather is currently being treated for bladder cancer. “There’s lots of cancer in my family,” she states matter-of-factly.

It’s why Kophs believes it’s critically important to support cancer research through events such as Fred Hutch’s Obliteride—because “research leads to cures,” she says.

“My mom was cured of the ‘dreaded C’ and I’m so grateful to have a way to contribute to future cures through my participation in Obliteride.”

Kophs originally got involved in Obliteride after being asked to ride by a dear friend which also coincided with her attending a small fundraising event with Dr. Jim Olsen and other Fred Hutch scientists and doctors related to Project Violet. “When I saw some of the innovations and incredible research and results that were happening at Fred Hutch to help treat, cure and operate on cancer it was really mind-blowing for me,” Kophs says. “I had to figure out how to make more of a difference than going to one fundraiser, and Obliteride seemed like a great avenue for that.”

Kophs rallied a team of friends and family who rode various routes and joined her at the huge kick-off party at Gas Works Park on the Friday night before the ride, and also at the Finish Line celebration back at Gas Works.

megan on route
Megan Kophs (right) and friend Amy Anderson share a laugh during Obliteride along Lake Washington Boulevard.

“Obliteride is SO MUCH FUN,” Kophs says. She’s ridden the 25-mile route the last two years and had an “absolute blast.”

Kophs is impressed with the incredible sense of community at Obliteride.

“It’s such an uplifting, hopeful and positive experience for the riders. All of the support and extra touches from volunteers, massage therapists, sideline cheerleaders, vendors, family and friends that rally to support the cause and the riders at the pre and post ride events makes it a very special experience,” she said.

Anyone can do Obliteride Kophs stresses. “It’s not a race and everyone is so supportive. The 25-mile ride along Lake Washington down to Seward Park is absolutely gorgeous. Last year, the sun was shining and Mt. Rainier was out. It was amazing.”

To anyone who’s not convinced, Kophs says she was amazed at how many people she knew wanted to join, get involved and donate. Obliteride gives you all the online tools and resources to be successful to make your ride fun and reach your donation goal.

“It feels so good to make a difference and to know how many people wanted to support this cause, knowing that 100% of the money raised by riders goes directly to Fred Hutch and that their donation is making a bigger impact,” Kophs says. “At Obliteride there is a lot of power in people coming together to support something that touches everyone’s lives. Having the challenge of a ride is nothing compared to the challenge people face in fighting cancer.

And riding and partying with friends on a beautiful summer weekend—it doesn’t get much better than that.”

survivor photo
Cancer survivors gather for a picture at the Obliteride kick-off party at Gas Works Park.

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ABOUT OBLITERIDE

The 5th annual Obliteride is August 13, 2017.

Participants enjoy a weekend of live entertainment, fantastic food from Tom Douglas Catering and one of the best supported rides in the country.

There are four distances: 25, 50, 100 and 150 miles. All routes start at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and finish at Gas Works Park.

Obliteride has raised more than $9.2 million for cancer research at Fred Hutch.

To learn more or to register to ride, volunteer or donate, go to Obliteride.org.

 

 

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