Stopping Cancer Early – The Best Possible Investment


Canary Challenge Featured Rider: Carolyn Helmke

September 8, 2014

This weeks featured rider is Carolyn Helmke, a salesperson for Commuter Benefits Solutions and an avid cyclist in the Bay Area. Carolyn and her team, Team Polly Cleland Helmke, are aiming to raise $15,000 for early cancer detection in the 2014 Canary Challenge. So far they have raised over $14,000!Carolyn Helmke

Carolyn has been disproportionately affected by cancer. Her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 54, and Carolyn herself is a breast cancer survivor. She believes her survival is due to the fact that the cancer was detected in her body very early. She says, “Early detection of ALL cancers is the key to prevention.” Carolyn will be cycling in the 50k along with her friends, something she greatly enjoys doing in her free time. She has been cycling her entire life!

Carolyn, like many other strong and savvy fundraisers, sends out personal emails to friends and family to raise money for the Challenge. She believes this is the best way to motivate donors to research the cause and support her in her 50-kilometer bike ride. Carolyn and her team always take the time to send out thank you cards to their donors. A small task like this makes a huge difference to donors who spent both time and money supporting their team. Carolyn also motivates her team members to capitalize on their birthdays and ask for donations instead of gifts—we at the Canary Foundation LOVE that idea! Fundraising tactics like these have allowed Carolyn to fundraise almost 40% of her goal 6 (change if posted later) weeks before the Canary Challenge.

When we asked Carolyn if there was anything that she’d like to share with her fellow Canary cyclists, she said that it is integral to know that the most important part of the Challenge is that we find ways to prevent cancer through early detection. She knows we are at a very historic point in our plight for early detection. We have found a further understanding of our own genetics through the innovating research done in the 21st century. The use of new technologies has allowed researchers to compute large amounts of data at a lightning fast speed, and that can be the key to finding early detection markers for cancer.

We at the Canary Foundation want to highlight Carolyn for her dedication to the cause and push to bring about more awareness for the importance of early detection. Good luck in September, Carolyn!