“Glass Half Full” Bicyclist Pedals to Fight Lung Cancer
Dara Glass rode on behalf of her husband Sam, who’s battling the disease
ANCHORAGE - The 300 bicyclists who participated in this year's Clean Air Challenge each had different reasons for doing so.
This is the story of one Anchorage woman who organized the team "Glass Half Full" and why she says healthy lungs are a goal worth pedaling for.
The Houston High School parking lot was the staging ground for about 300 cyclists, including Dara Glass.
“[It’s] kind of an emotional morning, a moving morning, because your thinking, ‘oh my gosh, what am I doing?’” Dara laughed.
Glass has never biked anywhere near 120 miles before – the length of the challenge course, but says one thought will spur her on.
“ This is nothing compared to what Sam goes through every day.”
Sam is Dara's husband, and lately they've been spending a lot of time together.
The couple has been keeping close ever since a diagnosis in 2009 changed their lives forever.
“It took about 5 months until a CAT scan was finally done, and that's when we discovered it was actually lung cancer,” Dara said, crying.
“After that there was no more talk about what chances I had of surviving, it was how long I had to live,” Sam said.
It was a shock to say the least. Sam was active, healthy and had never smoked. After learning that his stage four cancer can’t be cured, the couple vowed to make the most of their time together, but some days are easier then others.
“Little things, like I'm going through retirement on my own, he's not going to be there,” Dara said with tears flowing. “And we're not going to be able to reach our goals and stuff, and now everything changes and now we don't live for the future – we live for the day.”
Dara says the Clean Air Challenge is a way to help others have a healthy future.
She rallied her friends and formed a team called Glass Half Full.
The team raised more than $8,000 dollars – money that will go for research and education, something Sam says is important since lung cancer is so often misunderstood.
“A lot of people think that since 85 percent of cases can be solved by people not smoking, it’s not worth donating any money for, therefore the research that goes into lung cancer is a lot less then other cancers.”
For Dara, raising money and awareness is a goal worth pushing for.
“Knowing that every little bit we can do is making a difference, and that's what this is all about.”