Rally the Valley: community, help and healing
The Glenwood Springs community came together on a glorious autumn morning Saturday to support Valley View Hospital’s Calaway-Young Cancer Center in Rally the Valley.
Participants’ registration fees and fundraising dollars go toward supporting the integrative therapies offered at the cancer center. They help patients healing massages, ease the symptoms of cancer treatment through acupuncture and find companionship and strength in counseling and support groups.
The 25-mile bike ride, 4-mile walk and 1.5-mile parade all started from Sayre Park in Glenwood, which was decked out with bounce houses, information booths, coffee and donuts, games, art projects, live music and a beer garden.
The park was packed with locals who came out to support the cancer center.
Rebecca Romeyn came with her daugther Sydney Romeyn and friend Ella Fosnaught.
“We all have family and friends who have been affected by cancer, and we really want to support what they’re doing here,” Romeyn said. “It’s fun, we get to wear costumes!” She added, indicating Sydney’s fuzzy raccoon suit.
Others came to Rally the Valley to support friends. Mari Hale rode 25 miles to Carbondale and back for her friend Susan Fittanto, who recently finished her breast cancer treatment. Hale decorated her bike helmet with feathers and flowers. She rode with a team called “The Divine Secrets of the Ta-Ta Sisterhood.”
“We’re riding with her, loudly and proudly, and we’re happy to be here in a spirt of healing,” Hale said.
Fittanto, who completed treatment a at the end of March, is appreciative of the cancer center.
“The Calaway-Young Cancer Center is the best facility that I’ve ever experienced,” she said. “They really treat the whole patient. They actually make you feel like a family member, which is a huge part of cancer treatment.”
Fittanto used many of the integrated therapies offered at Valley View — namely, massage and acupuncture.
“That was a really important part of my healing,” she said, “because I had a really hard time emotionally. Those therapies help you reconnect and relax and get back on track emotionally.”
Others joined Rally the Valley in memory of a loved one lost to cancer. Ron Carr rode his bike wearing a sign reading “I Ride For My Love Roselan & For You Too!”
A few years ago, Carr and Roselan walked at Rally together. In December 2013 she passed away from cancer, but Carr wanted to keep the tradition going.
“The cancer center was so good to her,” Carr said. “My sign is a tribute to her, and all the other people who enjoy the benefits of the cancer center. It’s a very good thing for this community.”
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