Gautier woman leading the pack in Great Cycle Challenge - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gautier woman leading the pack in Great Cycle Challenge

Sylvia Waldsmith, 59, sets aside almost two hours a day, five days a week, to help kids fight cancer. (Photo source: WLOX) Sylvia Waldsmith, 59, sets aside almost two hours a day, five days a week, to help kids fight cancer. (Photo source: WLOX)
GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) -

A Gautier woman is leading a pack of 300 cyclists in Mississippi to raise money for the Children's Cancer Research Fund. It's part of a nationwide event with close to 40,000 riders all working to help children fight cancer.

Sylvia Waldsmith, 59, sets aside almost two hours a day, five days a week, to help kids fight cancer.

"Doing things for others is a good thing. It helps make you feel better, too," said Waldsmith.

She does this after working a full day at the Mary Walker Marina she and her husband own together.

"It clears my head after a long day, rejuvenates my soul."

Waldsmith says the work is well worth it. It's all part of the Great Cycle Challenge, benefiting the Children's Cancer Research Fund.  

Sylvia lost two brothers to cancer. One recently. The plight of children battling cancer pulls at her heartstrings.  

"There are 42 children diagnosed with cancer every day. I can't imagine being told as a child that you have cancer and the nightmare those families go through," Waldsmith said.

So, she rides 20 to 25 miles a day, four or five days a week. Her goal during the month-long challenge in June is to ride at least 300 miles. So far, she is the state's top fund raiser with nearly $4,500 raised. She was also the top rider last year, but Sylvia says being the top rider is not what motivates her.

"It's about those people who believe in me and believe in the cause and that they trust me with their money and their thoughts and prayers and their beliefs,” said Waldsmith.

She does hope the money raised will make a difference.

"Being able to bring that money to The Children's Cancer Research Fund in hopes that maybe that $1 more that I raise is the $1 that finds the cure."

If you would like to help Waldsmith reach her goal, you can drop off a donation at Mary Walker Marina in Gautier. Go to her Facebook page to follow her journey.

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