Liv/giant Announces Winner of Bicycle Design Contest

April 1, 2012

Cancer Survivor’s Experience Leads to Avail Inspire

Newbury Park, Calif. (April 1, 2012) — One evening this past February, Emily Gresh was strolling downtown New Haven, Conn., near Yale-New Haven Hospital — where she had been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in August 2010.  Now it was February 2012, and Emily had just received a phone call from Elysa Walk, General Manager of Giant Bicycle USA, who told Emily she had won a bicycle design contest sponsored by Liv/giant and Young Survival Coalition.

“I had outstanding treatment at Yale-New Haven, but there is no good way to hear the news that you have cancer,” said the Hartford, Conn., resident.  “A little over a year later, to hear the great news about my bicycle design completely warmed my heart — one big warm glow in the middle of a cold February night.”  Emily continued, “You can imagine my smile and laughter as I stood there on the street talking to Elysa, thanking her and Giant, and then calling my family and a few of my close friends and sharing this unbelievable news.”

The contest, held last October, challenged young breast cancer survivors to design graphics for a special-edition Liv/giant Avail road bike. The winner’s design would be applied to a bike, the sales of which would benefit Young Survival Coalition (YSC).  As the bike designs came in, one particular submission rose to the top — it was the only design that included a theme. That theme was Inspire, and that submission belonged to Emily Gresh.

“The origin of the word ‘inspire’ is actually to breathe in or to take in,” Emily explained.  “Though today we are more likely to think of it in its common motivational sense, I love the notion of the word being rooted in simply breathing in.  Even in our most difficult and private moments, we still have that power, to breathe in.  For me, the word ‘inspire’ on the bike speaks to both the very personal experiences that go with breast cancer and the great power of a visible community.  It acts as a reminder of what is possible in life, and in living post-cancer, and how much support we have to help us through.”

“Emily’s story and her bicycle design touched all of us so much,” said Elysa Walk of Giant USA. “For several years we’ve been a sponsor of the YSC Tour de Pink bicycle rides.  We learned in her design application that Emily decided to ride the East Coast Tour de Pink while she was recovering from her surgery.  Her eloquence as she related her story and the theme she incorporated into her design for the Avail Inspire seemed to speak directly for breast cancer survivors and their families.”

As Emily recovered, the 40-year old wife and mother found the website of Young Survival Coalition and saw photos of women just like her who had completed the three-day Tour de Pink.  “I saw in the ride, in those faces, a community of people who in the very act of being together cycling were also bearing the weight of what they had been through,” she recalled.  “I wasn’t sure how on earth I was going to bear what I was going through when I was first diagnosed, but here were other people who had gotten through and had found each other along the way, too.” 

Emily rode more than 200 miles to complete the 2011 East Coast Tour de Pink, and she’s training to ride the event again in 2012.  “When I started to take those first training rides on my own in anticipation of Tour de Pink, I began to really discover the great things about where I live now in ways I hadn't opened my eyes to before,” she said.  “And, as I began to train, I learned how to make biking a regular part of my life again after missing it for so many years.  My goal is to just keep enjoying it.  I am so glad to be out on the bike every time I ride — there is so much for me just in the simple pleasures of it.”

The limited-edition Liv/giant Avail Inspire road bike is on sale now at select Giant bicycle retailers around the country with a retail price of $1,360.  10% of the proceeds from the sale of the bicycle as well as Inspire-themed Liv/giant jerseys, socks and water bottles are being donated to Young Survival Coalition.

The 2012 YSC Tour de Pink East Coast ride travels from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., September 28–30, and the Tour de Pink West Coast event rolls from Thousand Oaks, California to Foothill Ranch, CA, October 12–14.
To discover more about Emily Gresh and the Liv/giant Avail Inspire, or to find a Giant retailer selling the bicycle, go to www.LivgiantUSA.com/Inspire.  The web page also provides a link with more information about Young Survival Coalition and how to participate in a Tour de Pink ride.

About Liv/giant

Liv/giant is a cycling brand dedicated solely to female riders and inspiring them to lead happier, healthier, more adventurous lives through cycling.  To learn more about Liv/giant, the brand’s bikes and gear and Giant retailers who carry those products, please visit www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/livgiant/.

About Young Survival Coalition (YSC)

Established in 1998, Young Survival Coalition (YSC) was the first nonprofit organization to focus exclusively on the unique needs of young women affected by breast cancer.  Founded by young survivors for young survivors, YSC began as a grassroots organization to advocate on behalf of all young women diagnosed with breast cancer to increase their quality and quantity of life.  Based in New York City, with 23 affiliates nationwide, YSC today provides comprehensive resources, support and education to address every phase of a young woman’s breast cancer experience.  YSC is well known for its four national Tour de Pink® rides for breast cancer; regional In Living Pink events; ResourceLink program; as well as educational materials such as its Newly Diagnosed Resource Kit (NDRK), Metastatic Navigator and its Factor Series on topics such as fertility, genetics and breast reconstruction. It also co-presents the C4YW — Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer. For more information or to make a donation, please visit: www.youngsurvival.org

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