Rena Kyles, 38, is a mom, teacher, marathon runner, and breast cancer survivor. She’s also the winner of the contest Liv Bicycles holds to help breast cancer survivors transform their struggle into a design for a road bike. Rena’s design — a black frame accented with pink “inspire flames” — will be sold nationally by the company, with proceeds benefiting others who beat breast cancer, according to a Today Show report.
Kyles discovered a lump on her breast shortly after completing a half-marathon. A biopsy confirmed her worst fear, but almost immediately she was determined to fight and win the battle against her cancer. The fight, she tells Today, made her stronger. She learned about the bike design contest through her e-mail subscription to Young Survival Coalition, a group that provides resources and support for young women with breast cancer. Participants were asked to provide a sketch of their bike design along with an essay explaining the symbolism of the design.
In her essay, Kyles referred to trial by fire making things stronger, saying “When iron needs to be strengthened, it is put into the fire. When gold needs to be refined, it’s put into the fire. Through that process, the material becomes stronger.” She went on to say that the flames in her design were representative of the fire she experienced and overcame in the battle against her cancer.
Kyles, riding the Avail Inspire bike, was joined by Today correspondent Natalie Morales on the 100-mile middle leg of the 220-mile East Coast route for the Tour de Pink, a three-day fundraiser for the Young Survival Coalition. This year the event raised over $600,000; the group’s all-time fundraising total exceeds an impressive $8 million.