After successfully completing her treatment for breast cancer in February, Mardi Clissold was seeking something new to focus on. She attended a meeting of Capital of Texas Team Survivor, one of the Ride’s beneficiary nonprofit organizations. That’s when she first heard about the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride and met the ride’s enthusiastic executive director Marion Martin, a two-time survivor herself.
“She handed me a magnet with the date 9-23-17 on it and I said, ‘Sign me up!’” recalls Mardi who works as a personal assistant and is married to David, a software engineer at IBM. Together, they enjoy their golden retriever Duncan.
Mardi and her husband David had old bikes they took out for a spin now and then, but had never ridden for distance. As first-time Mamma Jamma riders and new to cycling as a sport, the couple has found the training rides a great way to learn the sport. “The leadership and fellow riders have been supportive,” says Mardi. And they are having fun together—something that seemed impossible at times when she got her breast cancer diagnosis last year.
At first, David was supporting Mardi’s effort by training with her, then he decided to join the ride and fundraising effort too.
“We had never fundraised before, but were blown away by the generosity of our friends and family,” says Mardi. The couple of raised almost $4,000 so far!
“The ride has become so much more to me personally,” Mardi says. “It is my tangible return to health and has been a way for us to spend time together and connect with new people.”