Biking for a cure for cancer

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 28, 2002

Glen Juveland isn’t one to enjoy asking people for pledges.

But over the 22 years he’s ridden in the American Cancer Society Bike-A-thon, he’s managed to come out among the top fund-raisers of the riders.

&uot;I usually take a pledge sheet to work,&uot; said his wife, LeAnn. That, coupled with friends and relatives who have faithfully pledged their support over the years, have managed to help him raise close to $1,000 each of the last few years. LeAnn estimates he’s raised between $15,000 and $20,000 over the years.

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&uot;I’ve won two bicycles,&uot; Glen said. &uot;But that’s not why I do it.&uot;

Glen has a personal goal &045; a challenge to himself &045; to always raise a little more than he did the year before.

&uot;That’s because LeAnn and I know so many people whose lives have been touched by cancer,&uot; he said.

For Glen, the Bike-A-thon is a chance to make new friends and renew acquaintances. It’s a tradition for him and whoever is riding with him to stop at his mother-in-law’s home in Freeborn.

There, Lorraine Dillavou has brownies and Cokes waiting.

It’s also there that Glen abandons his regular bike and goes the remaining 25 miles of the route with LeAnn on a tandem bike. They’ve done that for three years.

Glen said the Bike-A-thon has changed as far as the numbers of riders over the years. But while there are fewer riders today, those who do ride bring in as much or more money.

&uot;People give more now,&uot; LeAnn said.

The Juvelands also have known a number of people who have had cancer who have obtained pledges and have ridden in the Bike-A-thon.

&uot;There’s always something that piques people’s interest,&uot; Glen said.

Glen said he is impressed with the volunteers who continue to make the Bike-A-thon run smoothly. That’s everyone from the chairmen to the people who check riders in to the emergency communication volunteers to the people who make lunches for the riders.

Glen has agreed to serve as chairman of the start and finish next year, as long as he can ride, too. Dan Springborg, who has chaired that portion of the event the last few years, has agreed to help with the overall chairmanship of the ride, so the job was open.

LeAnn is also involved with the American Cancer Society through the Look Good &045; Feel Better program. A program of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association in cooperation with the National Cosmetology Association and the American Cancer Society, Look Good &045; Feel Better helps women who lose their hair while undergoing chemotherapy. The cancer patient receives a donated wig from Rochester, and LeAnn will cut or style it.

&uot;They offered the training at a convention I attended, and I became certified in it,&uot; she said. &uot;If you look good, you feel better, and that’s such an important part of the recovery process.&uot;

While there are other areas in which LeAnn could expand her education to help cancer patients, she concentrates her efforts primarily in wigs. She’s listed on a national registry.

&uot;Until a someone has to use the service, they probably don’t know about it,&uot; LeAnn said.