Many of the riders who will participate in Pelotonia have the support of their families.

When Grove City resident Libby Sommer rode for the first time in 2016, she didn't have to look far to feel her siblings' support.

"My siblings and I, all three of us, rode the first 25 miles together," said Sommer, 58. "I've had five different cancers, all (unrelated). I almost died on the operating table.

"To be there last year with my brothers and sister, it was indescribable. It was special."

Sommer and her siblings – her older brother, Rich Moore, younger brother Jack Moore, and younger sister, Cat Stathulis – will ride together again Aug. 5.

First diagnosed in 2007 with melanoma, Sommer battled basal-cell carcinoma in 2011, bladder cancer and appendix cancer in 2013 and thyroid cancer in 2014.

"I ride because I just don't want anyone to ever go through what I had to go through," she said. "The bladder cancer was the one I had the most difficulty with. I was able to have surgery and get whole again.

"It's amazing what they can do. There's such a low percentage of people who survive my form of bladder cancer. I'm so grateful.

"I ride to help give something back for my good fortune. I just hope we can find a cure for some of the cancers. To cure all of them would be quite a feat. But if we can find the cure for one of them, perhaps that will uncover some knowledge that will lead to a cure for many," she said.

Sommer said her brothers would participate in two-day 180-mile routes for Pelotonia, but she and her sister would stick with the 25-mile ride from Columbus to Pickerington.

"Last year, I didn't quite make it up a hill near the end of the route," she said. "I had been sick all during July and didn't have much chance to train.

"This year, I'm determined to complete the 25 miles."

Everyone should get to experience riding in the Pelotonia, she said.

"It's just so wonderful riding down a country road and having people sitting in their lawn chairs along the route, cheering you on," Sommer said. "It means so much to have their support."

Once again, Sommer said, she will carry a piece of paper while she rides.

"My older brother and I both have lists of all the people we've known who we've lost to cancer or who have survived," she said. "We carry our lists in our pockets as a remembrance and to honor those people.

"It makes you realize how big this is and how many people it affects," Sommer said.

afroman@thisweeknews.com

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