Karen Richards' Changing Gears Adventure 2005 - Australia

Changing Gears - The Global Run

The Event

From October 23 to October 30, 2005, I was one of 20 young breast cancer survivors chosen to ride Harley Davidson motorcycles up the coast of Australia from Sydney to Brisbane in the final leg of Changing Gears, a unique high-profile advocacy, community building and fundraising event created for and by young women living with breast cancer.

We rode the final leg of an amazing international motorcycle relay, with other young survivors from around the world taking part in one week rides in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia over three months. Changing Gears – The Global Run, is organized by Amazon Heart, who run programs for young survivors in partnership with leading breast cancer agencies around the world.

Over the course of a week, we raised awareness of the diverse needs of young women living with breast cancer, challenge media stereotypes, raised funds and continued along our own personal path of growth and healing by building a supportive community with fellow survivors.

To read my story of the breast cancer journey that brought me to motorcycles and Changing Gears, see my official rider profile by clicking here or on the link at the top of the page.

The Need

There are currently more than 2 million women in this country who are living with breast cancer, and 250,000 of these women are under the age of 45. Studies show that young women diagnosed with breast cancer experience greater unmet needs, more unhappiness and more financial stress than older women. Young women with breast cancer experience a higher degree of social isolation through feeling "different" to their peers, and the unlikelihood of knowing any other women in their situation.

Last year the inaugural Changing Gears ride in California raised $45,000 which supported scholarships for young breast cancer survivors to attend a national conference staged by The Young Survival Coalition, the operation of a 24 hour peer support hotline by Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization and the development of peer support programs by Amazon Heart.

This year funds raised will support the development of a world first online peer support program for young survivors by Amazon Heart and The Young Survival Coalition.

How You Can Help

My minimum goal was $5,000, but last year I raised nearly $9,000 and I'd love to top that this year. You may still make an online donation by clicking on the "donations page" link here or at the top of this page. Be sure to select my name from the dropdown list on the fundraising page under "Additional Information".

With your help I raised nearly $6,000 - 120% of my initial goal, and 66% of last year's total! If you didn't have a chance to donate before the event, you can still do so now.

If you prefer to donate by mail, you can download a donation form, or you may contact me by e-mail at bikerchick@karenrichards.com and I will mail a form to you.

Thank you for your interest and your help. Together we can make a difference for women living with breast cancer.

Karen Richards

It's not the destination, it's the journey...