ST. CHARLES – Members of a St. Charles cycling club rode bikes from Salt Lake City to Denver earlier this month to raise money for a girl battling cancer.
Sammy Radi, owner of Sammy’s Bikes in St. Charles, and 13 members of his cycling club completed the more than 450-mile journey on Sept. 6. The members surpassed their $1-a-mile fundraising goal and are approaching $6,800 for Madi Beetham, 11, of Yorkville.
“It was a wonderful and really successful trip,” Radi said. “It felt so good to do something like this.”
Madi is an outpatient at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. She is at the start of a two-year treatment process to fight Stage 4 Lymphoblastic lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Radi knew Madi’s father, Brad, because her father is a customer of the store and a past sponsor of one of his racing teams. Radi in past years has done an annual multi-state bike ride for different causes, and this year he decided to do it for Madi.
Joining Radi on the eight-day ride fundraiser was St. Charles resident Julie Glanville. Her longest ride before the fundraiser was two days.
“It was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done,” Glanville said. “I’ve never climbed mountains on the bike before.”
Glanville said the cycling club usually rode for six to eight hours a day. She became sore but pressed on. She said she thought of Madi, but Glanville also thought of her late father, Dale T. Mortensen, a 2010 Nobel Prize winner in economics. Mortensen died in 2013 of lung cancer, Glanville said. Glanville had a laminated photo of her father with her on the trip.
Radi said other riders on the trip had far less experience, and one of them bought a bike and trained specifically for the trip. Several of the riders on the two-state trip also traveled by bike in July from Sammy’s Bikes in St. Charles to Madi’s home in Yorkville. A group of 60 riders went to visit her a day after she came back from a treatment session.
Brad Beetham said the riders’ support has great significance with his family. Madi is insured, but there are numerous expenses still involved with her treatment, including the commute to Chicago from Yorkville.
“It means a lot, obviously,” Brad Beetham said of the riders’ efforts. “It’s pretty impressive that they did it.”
Madi Beetham, 11, is undergoing treatment to fight a form of cancer. To contribute funds toward her family’s out-of-pocket expenses, visit https://fundly.com/madi-beetham-s-victory-fund.