In April 2000, June Freeman was in the hospital recovering from breast cancer surgery and she received word she had won a mini-bike. This year, she has donated the quot;just test drivenquot; bike to R

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 16, 2001

The little mini-bike that

could make a difference


Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Features Editor

June Freeman believes it is more blessed to give than to receive and she feels very blessed to be able to give.

In April of last year, Freeman had just had breast cancer surgery and was lying in a hospital bed wondering what was ahead for her.

The telephone rang and the caller gave her some good news. She had just won a mini-bike in a drawing at Troy Country Club.

"I had to laugh," Freeman said. "There I was in the hospital, flat of my back, and I had won a mini-bike. What was I going to do with a mini-bike?"

Freeman had no use for a mini-bike, but the folly of the situation brought some relief to a very stressful time.

With no young children around the house to motor on the bike, she put it on hold until she could decide what to do with it. She wanted the bike to be put to good use and she could think of nothing better than to give it away much in the same way it had been given to her.

So, Freeman has put the Carter Brothers mini-bike up for grabs.

Chances are being sold on the bike for $1 and every penny of every dollar will benefit Relay for Life.

Just as the mini-bike brought a smile to Freeman when she needed reason to smile, so will it help bring hope to cancer victims who are waiting, hoping and praying for a cure.

"I don’t know how much the raffle will bring, but every dollar donated to the American Cancer Society brings us a little closer to defeating this disease," she said. "I can’t think of any better purpose for this bike than to be a part of finding life-saving treatments and, eventually, a cure for this disease."

Check-ups and early treatment save lives, but Freeman’s cancer was not detected early. It was her awareness that something was wrong with her body that caused her to alert her doctor.

An ultrasound and even a mammogram didn’t detect Freeman’s problem.

"There was no great lump nor a huge sign, but I just knew things were different," she said. "A biopsy revealed that I had a type of cancer called Padgett’s disease. The cancer was removed, and I was very fortunate that it had not gone into the lymph nodes, so I didn’t have to have radiation or chemotherapy. So, I would tell anyone, to pay attention to your body. You know it better than anyone. Listen to what it is telling you. It could mean your life."

Because she is a cancer survivor and because she knows that research done by the American Cancer Society is providing life-saving treatments for cancer patients and that new discoveries are being made frequently, June Freeman is a strong supporter of Relay for Life.

"I have lost people who were very close to me to cancer, and I do support Relay for Life for all of the good that it does and all that it will do," she said. "But my own experience has given me a different perspective. Last year, I was at Relay for Life, but I didn’t walk the survivors’ lap. It was too early for that and, too, I was still weak from my surgery."

Freeman is not sure whether she’ll way the survivors’ this year.

"This is still a very emotional thing for me," she said. "It’s not that I don’t think it’s an honor because it is – a real honor, but I’m just not sure that I will be able to do it."

However, there is one thing that she will be doing and that is taking donations on a chance for a mini-bike that brought a smile to her face when the chips were down, in belief that the money contributed will play a role in making life better for other cancer patients and will some day make all cancer patients cancer survivors.

Chances on the mini-bike may be purchased at Troy Cablevision or on the Relay ground May 18 when the Relay for Life big event takes place.

And, just as an afterthought, Freeman mentioned that it would be wonderful if the one who wins the bike might donate it back to Relay for Life, so that the little mini-bike could continue on the road to finding a cure for cancer.

Just a thought.