Three milestone anniversaries in 2013 prompted Christine Ginder of New Albany to cycle 50 miles in tandem with her husband, Don, in last weekend's Pelotonia bicycle tour, a fundraiser for cancer research.
Five years ago, Ginder's father, Michael Zorich, died of pancreatic cancer.
Ten years ago, Ginder's mother, Bernie Zorich, died of esophageal cancer.
Fifteen years ago, Ginder beat breast cancer.
"They all coincided this year," Ginder said.
She said she and her husband have ridden in several bicycle tours, including the Half TOSRV, the Hancock Horizontal One Hundred, the Best of the Wurst Tour and a covered bridge and winery ride near Lake Erie, but this is their first Pelotonia.
"Our ride is also in tribute to those who have succumbed to cancer, which sadly includes almost a third of my bridge club members," she said.
Ginder said she and her husband have ridden a recumbent tandem bicycle for the past nine years.
She said they work well together as a team.
Only four couples were signed up to ride in tandem prior to the Aug. 10 tour, said Jillian Blaine, director of marketing and communications for Pelotonia.
Pelotonia was founded by cancer survivor Tom Lennox of New Albany. Sponsors support the event, which allows 100 percent of the proceeds raised by the riders to go to the Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Center.
More than 6,700 riders signed up with pledges totaling about $11 million.
Ginder said participants were required to raise $1,250 each; they've raised more than $2,500 through the generosity of community members who have supported them.
"I am a firm believer in early detection for cancer, as that is what has allowed me to become a 15-year survivor," Ginder said. "Mine was discovered during a routine mammogram and after surgery and radiation, I was given a 93-percent cure rate.
"With continued monitoring, when the cancer returned, it was again discovered in the early stages. Fortunately, after the mastectomy, it has not returned and my doctors consider me cured."
Ginder said she and her husband rode the 50-mile tour, which started in downtown Columbus and ended in New Albany.
Ginder is a retired counselor and educator who retired from the Reynoldsburg school district.
She and her husband moved to New Albany three years ago to be part of a walking and riding community, she said.
"Since we enjoy biking, walking and jogging, the leisure trail system here was a huge plus," Ginder said. "We use it on a daily basis and year round. It is a wonderful benefit for staying healthy and a tremendous way to meet one's neighbors.
"We are very pleased to be here and have found the community to be very welcoming."
The Ginders celebrate life daily, she said.
"I feel very fortunate and blessed to be around," she said. "I enjoy every day. Something like cancer gives you a different perspective on life."
"I feel very fortunate and blessed to be around. I enjoy every day. Something like cancer gives you a different perspective on life."
-- CHRISTINE GINDER
New Albany resident