Community and business come together to donate bike to cancer survivor

Published: Oct. 9, 2019 at 10:14 AM CDT
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Pedal FARR stands for the Falls Area River Ride, which utilizes the trails in Sioux Falls. The bike ride has eight different stops at breweries and bars to raise money to help families battling cancer. It usually happens every August.

One person that received $1,000 from Pedal FARR is Matt Beck. He said there are less than 130 cases of his type of cancer in medical literature.

"The cancer I had is called pseudomyogenic hemangioendothelioma," he said.

Beck traveled to the University of Minnesota to go through treatment, including chemotherapy.

"Not being able to see your daughter, not being able to see your wife gets tough. Chemo as is advertised, is not fun to go through," Beck said.

One of his coworkers nominated him to receive the money from Pedal FARR to help with expenses.

"The financial distress of having cancer is so taxing that any little thing you can do to get these people mobile is huge," Emily Connolly said, who is the founder of Pedal FARR.

He received that money last December. In February, he had to get one of his legs amputated because of an infection he received from a surgery in October.

"One thing with the prosthesis that I have, I can't really gain any weight or anything like that. I really gotta make sure I stay consistent," Beck said.

That's why he reached out to Emily again to see if she knew anyone with a hand pedal bike for him. The community raised half the money to buy him a new one, and the owner of JJ's Wine, Spirits & Cigars matched that $750.

"We were excited to play a role, and we were happy to do it," the owner of JJ's, Tom Slattery, said. "To be able to get him back on the road again with a device that will get him doing what he loves to do is a good feeling. It's a great feeling to be involved."

"When you've got cancer, after an amputation, just being able to have something that feels normal, it's great. It means everything just to be normal if you will," Beck said.

He said he has a sense of normalcy now with the opportunity for freedom and to raise awareness for people living with disabilities. Beck's goal is to be able to ride in the Falls Area River Ride next year with his hand pedal bike.

If you know someone who is battling cancer who you think deserves $1,000, you can nominate them on the Pedal FARR's website

. The chosen families will receive that money on December 20th.