Two years after bone cancer took part of her leg, Maya Oberstein re-learned how to ride a bike.
“She worked and worked and worked and rode and rode and rode and fell and fell and fell and then didn’t fall anymore,” said Yummie Oberstein, Maya’s mother.
That was two weeks ago.
Now Maya and her renewed confidence will take the stage at Connecticut’s largest bike fundraiser as the Connecticut challenge’s honorary co-chair.
“When I got cancer, I really felt like if I could get through it any way, it would be to believe,” said Maya, a sneak peek to Saturday morning’s speech.
It’s that positive attitude that struck Connecticut challenge’s founder, Jeffrey Keith.
His event raises about $2 million each year for cancer survivors.
“People want to see where the money’s going and who it’s helping and what better way to honor, you know, than to have an honorary chair like a Maya,” he said.
The 11-year-old kicked off her duties at a pre-ride pasta dinner where bicyclists fueled up and signed in ahead of the morning ride.
She plans to hop on her two wheels too, but not just because she spent all that time practicing.
“I’m not just doing this for myself. I’m riding for my team. I’m riding for my hospital. I’m riding for my family,” Maya said. “Some of these people still have cancer and they can just relax and have fun.”
The West Hartford seventh-grader will make her speech during a special Survivor’s Walk of Honor before the ride begins Saturday morning.
To donate to the overall Connecticut Challenge campaign: http://www.ctchallenge.org/Page/25/Fund-Our-Greatest-Need.html
Fundraising continues through the fall.