FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Cyclists will take to the streets of Fort Collins Saturday to raise money for the family of a local woman who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in a June bicycle crash.
Wanda Roche, a single mother of three teenagers, was on a week-long bike ride through Colorado at the time of the accident. They started in Crested Butte and were just past the highest point on the ride, Cottonwood Pass, when another rider hit her from behind on the descent.
"I just was thrown off the road at high speeds," Roche said.
"I don't remember anything after that."
She was rushed by helicopter to surgery at St. Anthony's Hospital in Lakewood. Afterward, she spent two months at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital.
"Nobody can prepare you for this moment," she said.
Now wheelchair-bound, Roche returned home last weekend.
"I'm home. I'm home with my kids. I have a support system of friends and neighbors that is larger than I would have ever dreamed," she said.
The Saturday fundraiser rides will start and finish at Lee's Cyclery South, located on 931 E. Harmony Road in Fort Collins. A buffet lunch will be held across the street at Ryan's Grill.
Riders can participate in a 56-mile, 26-mile or 6-mile ride for a minimum donation of $60. The money will be used to modify Roche's home to make it wheelchair-accessible.
To register, go to: http://www.fccycleclub.org/
Additionally, a benefit dinner and concert will be held for Roche on Wednesday. It will also be hosted at Ryan's Grill, from 6-10 p.m.
"Do I hope to get out there and feel the wind in my face again? Yes, I do," Roche said. "I think that will show I learned and could go through this process and at least come out the other side and say 'I did it!'"