Man Honors Late Fiancée With Closer to Free Ride

Closer To Free raises funds for the Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center

Lindsay Barrett was the love of Sean Deane’s life.

“She was amazing. Just this fearless fireball. She was awesome,” said Deane, of Enfield.

Sadly, while the pair was engaged to be married, Lindsay lost her battle with acute myeloid leukemia. In her memory Deane will ride in his second Closer To Free cycling event in September. His inspiration comes from his fiancée’s fight.

“Just give it all you got,” he said, describing her attitude toward life in general. “Go big or go home.”

Asked if this is the approach he’ll take in this year’s ride, his answer isn’t surprising.

“Yes, gonna do the century,” he said, “One hundred miles.”

One hundred miles is amazing especially when you consider Deane’s athletic background, something he says didn’t exist not too long ago.

“Two years ago I probably couldn’t have walked around the building without being winded,” he said. “Now I’m running half marathons and riding a century.”

Sean has done endless training, including a seven-day, 500 mile cycling event in Iowa this summer.

“Watching how hard Lindsay fought, I thought that I should at least give that much effort and put that much into it,” Deane said.

His team of seven riders, carries the name, “Team Be Happy,” inspired by Lindsay’s wish for her family.

“She pretty much just said that,” Deane recalls. “She said, I’m happy. I’m OK. But I need you guys to be happy.”

Before passing away in July 2017, Lindsay wrote those words on a white board, with a small drawing of a bee. Deane carries the logo everywhere he goes with a tattoo on his right forearm, identical to the handwriting Lindsay used that day.

Now, with a goal of raising $2,500 for the Closer To Free Ride, Deane has organized the “Be Happy” 5k/10k Road Race in Windsor on August 18. It is open to all and registration can be done at Alwaysbehappy.org

All proceeds from the road race will go to the Smilow Cancer Hospital, where Lindsay received treatment and her family received support Deane will never forget.

“They became part of our family,” he says. “They were our angels taking care of us.”

NBC Connecticut is proud to be the media sponsor for the 9th annual Closer to Free Ride on Saturday September 7.

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