By THE NEWNAN TIMES-HERALD
Marsha Suber of Senoia and Martha Hall of Peachtree City have just registered for the 2020 Race Across America (RAAM) with the ambitious goal of raising $100,000 to benefit local cancer patients.
The two friends are donating their race proceeds to Assistance in Healthcare and are already busy training for the race, which will kick off June 20, 2020, in California.
Suber serves as vice president of oncology services and chief nursing officer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Newnan. Hall works for Fayette County State Court as an accountability court coordinator.
While Suber is new to the world of competitive bicycling, Hall is an accomplished multi-sport athlete, competitive cyclist, professional multi-sport coach, student and single mom.
Among her accomplishments, Hall is a 2019 Race Across the West Finisher, a 2015 RAAM Finisher on a four-person coed team, a 2014 Women’s Master Champion of the Key West Swim, a 2013 Georgia State Criterium Pro/1/2/3 Champion, a 2012 Aquabike National Champion and a 2012 Augusta Half Iron World Qualifier.
The two first met through a friend in the local cycling community. “I crewed for Martha,” Suber said, noting that it was an honor to be chosen as part of Hall’s official crew for a race.
Suber doesn’t hesitate to point out that Hall is the stronger racer and says, “I aspire to be as strong a cyclist as Martha.”
Their decision to donate their race proceeds to Assistance in Healthcare came from their personal experiences with cancer.
“My dad died of cancer back in 1992, when I was a senior in college,” Hall says. Also, her mother is a breast cancer survivor.
Suber sees cancer patients every day in her work at CTCA, and she says, “I see the challenges that patients and caregivers experience.”
She noted that cancer impacts patients and their families in many ways, including financially. The cost of treatment can be devastating, with some patients even losing their jobs while in treatment.
That’s where Assistance in Healthcare can help. Founded in 2012, this nonprofit has the mission of providing financial support to patients undergoing active cancer treatment.
AIH is able to provide funds for non-medical expenses such as mortgage and rent, food and groceries, utilities and child care, as well as other basic needs that may be neglected during a patient’s treatment.
Assistance in Healthcare supports cancer patients at hospitals in Fulton, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, Clayton, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette and Henry counties. Any patient receiving care at a facility in one of these counties is eligible for AIH assistance.
According to Suber and Hall, AIH’s requests for assistance are coming in more frequently than ever, so they’d love to meet and even surpass their $100,000 fundraising goal. They’re currently busy creating a website and signing up sponsors who wish to support their cross-country bike race that will benefit cancer patients back home in Georgia.
Race Across America (RAAM) starts in Oceanside, Calif., under one of the state’s longest piers, and RAAM will span 3,000 miles, with cyclists climbing 175,000 feet, crossing 12 states and finishing at the City Dock in Annapolis, Md.
The west-to-east route will have racers crossing three major mountain ranges, and it crosses four of America’s longest rivers and the Great Plains, passing through American landmarks such as the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, Monument Valley, Great Plains and Gettysburg.
According to Race Across America, the race is open to both amateur and professional racers, who participate in solo, two-, four- and eight-person relay teams.
RAAM racers have raised more than $2 million per year over the past five years.
To follow the journey of Suber, Hall and their racing team, visit their Facebook page, Team Assistance in Healthcare.