“Life and health are precious. I’m riding to help cure cancer because I can. I’m riding for those who can’t.”
Matthew Caprio – Queen Anne Resident
When Matthew Caprio and his family visited Seattle, they liked it so much they decided to make it their home. So, seven years ago they packed up and moved from Austin to Queen Anne. “We were charmed by the community. Queen Anne’s small-town feel and proximity to downtown Seattle make it quite a gem for us,” said Caprio. “Life is good here!”
Caprio doesn’t take life for granted. He sat by his mom’s side every day for a month as she died from cancer. “Her death had a profound effect on me,” he said. “During that time I decided I would find ways to live a healthier lifestyle and to do more to help other people and their families struggling with cancer to prevent experiences like my mom’s.”
When Caprio’s colleagues told him about Obliteride, an annual bike ride benefiting Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he knew he’d found the perfect way to make a difference. “I’m not going to be the one to cure cancer, but by riding in Obliteride, I’m supporting Fred Hutch’s amazing innovation and progress toward eliminating diseases, like the one that took my mom, and this is a very tangible way that I can make an impact.”
Obliteride’s goal is to cure cancer and the ride has raised more than $9 million for Fred Hutch. It’s important to Caprio that 100% of the money raised goes to Fred Hutch.
Caprio describes himself as a novice rider, yet he wanted to challenge himself, so last year he skipped Obliteride’s shorter route and signed up for the 50-mile ride. “Crossing the finish line at Obliteride was a surreal juxtaposition of personal accomplishment and being a part of something far bigger than any one person,” said Caprio. “It was deeply satisfying and I felt great! So this year, I’ve doubled up to do the 100 mile route.”
Not everyone wants to pedal that far, so Obliteride has routes for everyone, ranging from 25 to 150 miles. Organizers say it’s much more than a bike ride. “To thank our riders we treat them to a fun kickoff party at Gas Works Park and a weekend of live entertainment, fantastic food from Tom Douglas Catering and beer from Elysian Brewing,” said Mark Grantor, Obliteride’s operations manager. “We have very generous sponsors, like University Village, that make it possible for us to give our riders a first-class weekend.”
While Obliteride is a weekend full of fun and camaraderie, it’s also a time to remember loved ones lost to cancer and offer hope to those still fighting. For Caprio, his inspiration to pedal comes from his mom, who he says died far too young. “Obliteride gives me the confidence and motivation to accomplish something bigger, both for myself, and for those who can’t.”
Join Fred Hutch’s Obliteride
Obliteride is August 11-13, 2017. To learn more or to register to ride, volunteer or donate, go to Obliteride.org.
You can also donate directly to Caprio’s ride here.