Seattle 'Livestrong' event aims to beat cancer

Seattle 'Livestrong' event aims to beat cancer »Play Video
Cyclists leave the starting line at the beginning of the Livestrong challenge.
SEATTLE - Thousands of bikers, walkers and runners converged on the Seattle Center on Sunday to take up the Livestrong Challenge and raise money to fight cancer.

Champion cyclist Lance Armstrong threw down the original challenge, and since 1997 the Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised over $250 million for the cause in cities across America.

Behind every biker and runner at this year's Seattle challenge - including one gentleman who took passengers in a pedi-car - is a unique story.

Many survived cancer, lost a loved one - or both.

"Today is also really important because it's Father's Day, so I think it's a really great way to honor his memory," said cancer survivor Renee Nicholas.

The story of one participating family - the Kellys - goes to the heart of what it means to "Livestrong."

Rae Anne Kelly says, "I'm a survivor. I had breast cancer this year. My husband died about eight weeks ago. So we're here for him. He was a big fan of 'Livestrong.' He has the bracelet on right now."

This Father's Day, the Kellys will be walking with their dad's favorite songs in their iPods.

An estimated 2,300 people took part in this year's Challenge. There was a 5K route for runners and walkers, as well as a series of bike rides of varying lengths from 10 miles up to 100 miles.

This year's participants hope to raise over $1 million, and so far they've raised more than $880,000.

Dan Wilson, a former Mariner, says, "The people here love to rally around something like this."

Brian Calvert and Manda Factor for KOMO Newsradio took on the challenge. "We're last but we're going to catch up," they declared.

The KOMO team also had folks from the TV side, including anchor Kathi Goertzen, who is fighting a non-cancerous brain tumor.

"We'd all like to do our little part to in putting an end to it," Goertzen said.

And as for the pedi-car gent: near the end he was still going - on a flat tire.

"This isn't an obstacle compared to what some people have to deal with," he said.