19th Annual Team Livestrong Austin Challenge Kicks off Sunday

AUSTIN, Texas – October 13, 2015 – Regularly participating in triathlons and fundraising for cancer charities were common activities for Amanda Adams. She maintained a healthy diet and rode her bike with her father for years. Although she had no connection to cancer, she still believed it was a cause worth fighting for.

But everything changed in October 2013. Adams participated in the Livestrong Austin Challenge, unaware of the disease subsisting in her body. Five months later, she was training for the MS150, a two-day-fundraising bike ride from Houston to Austin, when she was diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer.

“This shouldn’t be happening to me,” she said to herself following the diagnosis. In the past, she had helped so many cancer charities, but was now needing help from those same organizations. Adams dealt with the harsh treatment to come: five surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. She then chose to have a double mastectomy, even though a lumpectomy was an alternative according to her doctors. It ended up being the best decision for her as the doctors discovered that the cancer had spread and was much worse than anticipated once they removed the tissue. After a grueling five months of treatment, Adams’ last chemotherapy session was this past June.

“I didn’t see a way to get better being negative. All the negative things in my life had to go. After having cancer, I believe that I now have a healthier outlook on life. I wouldn’t be here without my family and friends,” she said. “I’m grateful to be healthy and alive.”

This week, Adams is stoked to be participating in her second Livestrong Austin Challenge. She’s chosen to ride 45 miles. This will be her comeback ride since she has been declared cancer-free, and will also be her first ride with her father since her diagnosis. Adams has fundraised apart from training for this event and has reached her goal of raising $15,000 for the Foundation.

Oct. 18 marks the19th-straight year the Foundation has held the Austin Challenge, the city’s largest bike ride starting and ending downtown. Riders of all levels are invited to participate and can choose to ride one of four courses between 20-100 miles. This year, there will also be a 5K run/walk option for those who do not ride.

Participating in the Austin Challenge is an opportunity to make a difference and help support Livestrong’s free programs and services that help people affected by cancer. Visit TeamLivestrong.org to sign up for the ride or www.Livestrong.org/donate to support people like Amanda affected by cancer.

About the Livestrong Foundation

The Livestrong Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. For 18 years, the Foundation has been a voice for cancer survivors and has directly served more than three million people. Livestrong answers survivors’ questions, tells their stories and helps them live their lives through direct service, advocacy and inventive partnership models. In 2014, the Foundation launched its boldest enterprise yet—the Livestrong Cancer Institutes at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. The Institutes will be a pioneering approach to patient-centered cancer care designed by survivors to deliver the best teaching practices and the greatest collaborative research to serve the cancer community.

If anyone you know needs cancer support, please visit Livestrong.org/WeCanHelp. For more information about our programs and services, please visit Livestrong.org.