For Tecla Palli-Sandler, participating in the 2017 Answer to Cancer Cycling Event and 5K Family Fun Run/Walk is more than just riding for a good cause—it’s personal. The Italy-born, New York City resident dedicates her 50 miles to her father, Paolo, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer 15 years ago.
For Tecla, cycling is deeply connected to her family and her childhood in Italy. “I have great memories of biking with my father and sister, Alessandra,” recalls Tecla. “Sundays were ours… we would bike along the brand-new, but still closed, highway in Monte San Savino, Tuscany, surrounded by gorgeous hills, cypress trees, and sunflowers!”
Cycling also reminds Tecla of her “Italian sister,” Serena, whose loss to bile duct cancer three years ago leaves a hole in Tecla’s heart. “Serena loved cycling, was a triathlete, and a force of nature,” says Tecla. “Biking makes me feel close to her.”
Through longtime friends Ken and Flo Umezaki of A2C Team Rioja, Tecla was introduced to the Cancer Research Institute and the Answer to Cancer. As a life coach, Tecla seems to be in the habit of wanting to help others. “There is nothing more beautiful than coming together as a community to do something meaningful.”
This June, Tecla rides in honor of her father and in tribute of the dear friends whom she has lost over the years: Fausta, Michelle, Ro, and Serena.
Do you want to be part of the Answer to Cancer? Register to bike, walk, or run, and help create a future immune to cancer.