45th Annual Bridge to Beach bike-a-thon fights cancer

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Cyclists ride to raise money for cancer. Registered Nurse Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on June 8, 2017. (WPVI)

Five years ago, Dr. Christine Meyer was very frustrated.

"My practice was just consumed with cancer case after cancer case - young people, sick, and losing their battles," she said.

Dr. Meyer signed up for the Broad Street Run, to raise money for the American Cancer Society, to lift her spirits, to and motivate others.

The idea snowballed quickly, becoming Team CMMD.

"That team of 4 ended up being a team of 47, and then the next year, it was over a hundred," she recalls.

"They came from all walks - tons of patients. Fit patients and unfit patients, and neighbors, and friends, and friends of patients," she says with a grin.

These days, Team CMMD has hundreds of members, and has raised more than a million dollars for the ACS at the Broad Street Run.

It has become its own non-profit foundation, giving cash grants to financially-struggling local cancer patients, as well as scholarships to kids whose lives are touched by cancer.

Just in the past year, Team CMMD has given $170-thousand, with 5 students receiving $20,000 scholarships.

When Dr. Lalitha Trivikram joined Dr. Meyer's practice, she offered to help the runners cross-train with cycling.

Before long, there was a CMMD cycling team, too.

They rode for fitness, fun, and local events, but wanted a bigger goal.

Dr. Trivikram said, "When we heard about the Cancer Society's Bridge to Beach, that was it."

"We had 40 cyclists. The following year, we were up to 90 cyclists," Dr. Trivikram said.

Dr. Trivikram says the team has a motto - no one rides alone.

She says team members support and encourage each other.

"We've taken the intimidation factor out of cycling. We've had a lot of new riders, and we've had people who haven't even been on a bike join us," Dr. Trivikram said.

She loves to see new riders cross the finish line.

"Anybody can ride 65 miles," Dr. Trivikram said.

The 45th annual American Cancer Society bike-a-thon Bridge to Beach is Sunday, June 11th, rain or shine.

There are different starting points - with routes from 20 to 65 miles.

In Philadelphia, it starts at the Ben Franklin bridge at 6:30 a.m.

6:45 a.m. - Ride starts from Cherry Hill East High School (Cherry Hill, NJ)

8 a.m. - Ride starts from Hammonton Lake Park (Hammonton, NJ)

8:15 a.m. - Ride starts from Egg Harbor City School District (Egg Harbor City, NJ)

Bikers can take a break at numerous rest stops along the route and enjoy lunch, refreshments and activities at the finish line in front of historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.

You can register online now, or on Sunday morning.

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