Two Connecticut moms, runners and breast cancer survivors are teaming up to raise money for the Yale-New Haven Smilow Cancer Hospital.
“I was actually six months pregnant with my youngest son Isaiah when I initially found a lump,” Lynsey Eno told NBC Connecticut.
It was only after the cancer came back a second time that Eno sought treatment at Smilow.
“And at that point, I realized I need somebody who specializes in the type of cancer that I had,” she said.
In September, Eno, who has run marathons, will hop on a bike for her first Closer to Free Ride.
“My main reason for wanting to do it is a thank you to Smilow,” Lynsey said. “It has been an amazing experience.”
Through a Facebook group, Lynsey connected with Lara Hajek.
“I followed her on Facebook when she was diagnosed and just watching her journey and she inspired me,” Hajek said.
A year ago, NBC Connecticut profiled Lara’s daughter Sierra before she rode last September to honor her mom while she went through breast cancer treatment at Smilow.
“Proud mom moment,” Lara said, “because I’m watching her cross that finish line with her hands up, with the thumbs up it was like, very, very extremely proud of her.”
At a fundraiser for her team in Madison last year, Lara and Lynsey finally met.
“And she walked in and I’m going oh my gosh that’s Lynsey,” Hajek said, “she’s a celebrity in my eyes, because of what she had been through.”
Now, Lynsey is a member of Team Lara’s Army.
“It really didn’t take much convincing to get me to join her team,” Lynsey said.
Lynsey proudly wears hear survivor jersey, but it comes with mixed emotions because this past April doctors told her the cancer returned and spread to her skin.
“It’s emotional I won’t lie,” she said. “Especially with my latest diagnosis being stage four. I have a hard time with the word survivor because I’m still actively going through treatment but I have to remind myself that I’ve survived a lot of different very aggressive treatments and for that I want people to know that I am a survivor.”
NBC Connecticut is a proud media sponsor of the 8th Closer to Free Ride that raises millions of dollars for research and patient care.
The ride begins Saturday, September 8 at the Yale Bowl.