Bay Area breast cancer survivor to lead charity cycling ride

Bay Area

LOS GATOS, Calif. (KRON) –  “If I had not had the awareness about the possibility of having breast cancer as a young woman, I’m not sure I would have been so quick to go and get myself checked.”

Young breast cancer survivor Andrea Ruelas hopes her story will inspire others to pay attention, even if that means getting a mammogram earlier than the suggested age. 

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women overall, according to the CDC. 

Andrea is a lead instructor at two Bay Area CycleBar studios, and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, they are hosting an annual charity ride with the Young Survivor Coalition this weekend. 

CycleGives allows the cycling company to partner with local charities to help raise donations. This month in particular hits close to home for several in the cycling community.

In August of 2019, Andrea was getting ready to teach a class when she got a call from her doctor with news that would shake up her life.

She was only 32, lived a healthy and active lifestyle, and had no family history of cancer.

Over the following year, she fought through 8 rounds of chemo, a double mastectomy, and reconstructive surgery. 

After nearly one year of treatment and reconstruction, Andrea is back to teaching classes, bringing more positivity and inspiration than ever – and to Andrea, “it just feels like coming home.”

“Breast cancer has always been a big deal for us. We’re had a lot of survivors and people who’ve been affected in our rider community. We have one woman, I think she just celebrated her 700th class. Some crazy high number. And she’s a survivor, and she’s been with us from the very beginning.” Andrea said. 

Last year’s annual breast cancer charity ride was about two months after Andrea had been diagnosed herself.

She had just started losing her hair from chemo. She shaved her head, put her wig on, and right before beginning class,

Andrea removed her wig, which resulted in an uproar of cheering. 

Although Andrea was on an aggressive treatment plan and faced fear of the unknown that cancer inevitably brings, she says she’ll never forget that moment. 

“I don’t ever think I would have seen how amazing it was, but for what the last year has been. You don’t know until you’ve kinda gone through the fire. And you realize what you can rise up and do.”

Andrea Ruela

CycleBar Los Gatos will host a half-day of outdoor classes on Saturday, October 24th, and CycleBar WestGate West will host a half-day of outdoor classes on Sunday, October 25th.  

Vendors and raffle prizes will also be present, with all proceeds going to the Young Survival Coalition. 

To book a bike or find out how you can help, head to the studio event page or call (408) 628-4477. 

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