Twenty hours on two wheels – and all for a cure

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Jim Sisler has been on a roller coaster ride since 2009. That’s when he found out he had colorectal cancer.

After a year of treatment, it went into remission. But a year later, the cancer had metastasized to his liver.

Another year of treatment and six months of remission only led to another diagnosis of cancer in his lung. Now in his late 40s, he’s undergoing chemotherapy again.

His family has been there every step of the way, but it’s hard.

“The questions are: How do you handle and help support the person who is fighting and battling this and do things for them?” said Kathryn Sisler, Jim’s daughter.

Luckily for Jim, his daughter is a part of Color Cancer, a University of Texas organization that raises money for cancer research and supportive services. Those services are something Jim would like to see more of.

“The emotional roller coaster of ‘It’s gone, and then it’s back’ is tough,” he said. “So the support is huge because cancer is both mentally and physically draining, depending on the type of treatments.”

That’s why a Central Texas chapter of Cancer Support Community is trying to raise $250,000 to open a new center for those dealing with cancer.

“It’s an army of support to make sure people understand that there are resources in the community that you can use, and need, to deal with all of the other aspects that we don’t think about,” said Seth Winick, Cancer Support Community chairman.

Beginning Friday at 7p.m. a major fundraising event happens. It’s called 20 Colors for 20 Hours at Pure Ride on West Fifth Street.

So far, 250 riders have signed up to bike anywhere between 20 minutes and 20 hours to raise money toward the Center’s new operating budget.

Dr. Emily Schottman is a multiple myeloma survivor, beating the cancer that started in the plasma cells in her bone marrow. She believes having an organization that can provide this type of support is crucial.

“We just feel like the community that could come out of this is the difference between making it through the diagnosis and not — and also for the caretakers to know you have a place to go to let off your stress,” said Schottman.

Anyone can take part in the 20-hour ride. Volunteers are still needed, and donations can be made online.

Cancer Support Community Central Texas hopes to be up and running by early 2015.

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