Organization tries to save lives one pedal at a time

Eric Sucar

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – The 11th Annual Bike Ride for Amy on June 3 originates in South Brunswick and courses through Middlesex and Somerset counties for a good cause: to raise funds for early detection of breast cancer among uninsured and underinsured individuals in central New Jersey.

The Bike Ride for Amy is sponsored by The Amy Feiman Behar Foundation for Cancer Prevention, Inc., founded in 2007 with a mission to make education and procedures for the early detection of breast cancer accessible, and to work with medical and healthcare professionals in determining how early breast cancer detection for these patients is best treated.

“The women who receive support from The Amy Foundation are low income,” said Arie Behar, president of the foundation he created and named for his wife, Amy, who died of breast cancer in March 2007 at age 49. “Though insurance may be available, many uninsured and underinsured patients opt out of purchasing it because the premiums are unaffordable, or – if they can afford less expensive insurance – cannot afford co-pays, and so they opt out of medical procedures that could be the difference between life and death.”

Since its inception, the foundation has raised nearly $700,000 and provided early detection procedures for approximately 3,400 women by working with healthcare partners Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, all in New Brunswick; and Penn Medicine at Princeton Health in Plainsboro.

The Bike Ride for Amy – which is not a race — is one of the foundation’s signature fundraising events. It originates and ends at South Brunswick High School, 750 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction section of town. In between, the event features four separate bicycling routes for riders to choose based on their riding proficiency and endurance:

50-mile route — a challenging and scenic ride;
35-mile route — a less challenging but hilly ride;
25-mile route — a comfortable, flat ride; and
15-mile route — a short, flat ride (for beginners)

The start times for each route are staggered: 7:30 a.m. for the 50-mile ride; 9:00 a.m. for the 35-mile ride; and 10:00 a.m. for the 15- and 25-mile rides. Check-in begins one hour before ride start times.

The registration fee is $35 for all routes and includes a t-shirt, pre-ride breakfast and a barbeque lunch served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants who want a Bike Ride for Amy riding jersey will be able to purchase one separately.

All registrants are asked to set up a fundraising page when they register by checking the box at the end of the registration page. Each rider is encouraged to raise a minimum of $170 to help the foundation provide vital life-saving procedures.

“Bring a friend, develop a team … and know that your spirited participation can help us fight – to win – the battle against the devastating effects of breast cancer,” Behar said.

To register for for more information, visit www.theamyfoundation.org.

This article was submitted by Jeff Leebaw.