Foundation Pays It Forward By Helping Cancer Patients
(CBS) -- In 2005, Janie Bawel was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Janie's biker friends decide to hold a ride in her honor, to help her pay medical expenses.
"The will that it gave me to continue to fight and want to live, just really had a huge impact," she tells CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot.
In 2008, Bawel and her co-founders created the non-profit Ride Janie Ride Foundation.
"I'm very proud of what we've started, how it's inspired us to fight on and come together as a community. It really is a movement and once you get hooked into the Ride Janie Ride family, that's one ride you don't miss," executive director Luke Pennings says.
Each year, the organization raises money for those battling cancer. Kathryn Chandler was one of four people chosen to receive money in 2011.
She used the money the way she wanted.
"I wanted to do what I had to do with injections and try to save my ovaries, to be a mom one day," Chandler says.
After fighting cancer and winning in 2013, Chandler got married. In 2014 she and husband Chris welcomed baby Andi.
"I'm grateful for Ride Janie Ride and just the support that they gave me when I needed it and continually," the mom says.
Moved by this new chapter in her sister's life, Laura Pekarik started the Elmhurst business Courageous Bakery. Ten percent of Pekarik's bakery and cupcake food truck sales go to Ride Janie Ride and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
"Always having the story and the mission in mind keeps me going and never lets me forget," Pekarik says.
Since 2007, some $500,000 has been raised by the Ride Janie Ride Foundation, benefiting 25 families.
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