Seventeen-year-old Fighting Cancer for Third Time Sets Her Sights on a Fundraising Win for Courage Classic

BOULDER, COLORADO, July 14, 2019 – Martha Riedel is a badass of epic proportions. Initially diagnosed, 4 years ago at age 13 with Ewings Sarcoma — a rare form of bone and soft tissue cancer — she set her goal immediately to fight and win.

During the grueling treatments, she was admitted to the hospital and quarantined with shingles. Her doctors told her she’d likely have to take a break from her cycling training, so, in what has become known to her friends and family as “True Martha Form,” she took that as a challenge. She set up her turbo trainer in the hospital room and used the time there to peddle away. And just four weeks after finishing chemotherapy, she ran the 2016 Bolder Boulder to prove her point (The Daily Camera and 9 News both covered her story).

That summer, at three months post-chemo, she rode the Courage Classic — the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation’s intense, two-day bike course through the Rocky Mountains — and raised more than $6,000 in the process.

During her freshman year in high school, she rode every race with her Boulder High School Mountain Biking Team and followed that season up with a 2nd Courage Classic ride — topping it off as the 7th highest fundraiser.

Late in the summer of 2017, her cancer was back (metastasized in her lungs), but her grit never left. More determined than ever, she raced in every regular season mountain biking race with her team through chemo — only to have to drop out of the state championship due to a low platelet count.

She finished her sophomore year and chemo and bid cancer another farewell with surgery and lung radiation to remove the last of a tumor.

The summer of 2018, she rode her third Courage Classic and was the 5th highest fundraiser. Then she spent her junior year 100% cancer free and racing in four out of five mountain bike races with her team.

In late May, she relapsed a second time and is currently in a clinical trial at Children’s. As expected, her steely grit is firmly in place as she prepares for her fourth Courage Classic ride next week. Even through the rounds of chemo and accompanying nausea, she has set her sights on being the top fundraiser this time. It’s her true Martha way of telling cancer to bugger off! This kid is an inspiration who knows no bounds.

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