‘Dream Team’ fights for breast cancer awareness

FISHERS, Ind. - October 1 starts Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

The American Cancer Society says more than 40,000 women will die of breast cancer this year, and while men will be diagnosed as well, the disease more often affects women.

This October, FOX 59's Beairshelle Edmé will put a spotlight on the people fighting breast cancer in our community.

Edmé spoke one-on-one with local advocates, including people like Kyle Vannoni.

"Most rides you all start together, but you finish on your own, you finish when you finish, and you don't beat cancer that way," Vannoni exclaimed! "You don't beat breast cancer that way."

He says it takes a team, which is why Vannoni drafted a Hall-of-Famer, who decided to make it a Dream Team.

5x NBA All Star, Olympic gold medalist, and former Pacers player Reggie Miller quickly went to work for his new team.

Together Vannoni and Miller rode for a cure in late September, alongside nearly 50 other cyclists.

"We want to fight for those who need a rest and need someone else to fight for them," said Vannoni, who has been fighting to help for 23 years.

In 2017, the 34-year-old launched a bike ride, Tour de Komen for one woman.

"I lost my mom, Peggy when I was just 12-years-old to breast cancer," he told Edmé.

When the helmet goes on, Vannoni says it's for her and hundreds of other women. The same goes for when he fastens his shoes and when he pedals past the pain.

"All of the patients out there that are battling and fighting against breast cancer, they are experiencing a lot of pain so it's important for me and everybody else to feel a little pain in our legs that day," he explained.

That pain is a reminder that this year 2,800 women in Central Indiana will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and the local Komen Foundation also says 400 of them will die.

Vannoni wants that number to go down, and his fundraising toward research and a cure to go up.

In order to achieve that, he direct messaged a retired basketball legend on Instagram!

"He was in the right direction and just needed a little bit of a boost," Miller told FOX59. "So I agreed to do that!"

Number 31 didn't just sign up, he added new players to the team, champion cyclists and professional athletes like Holly Breck, Lauren Tucker Hall, Ayesha McGowan and Raylyn Nuss.

"At some point in time, every family goes through it, and that's what we're riding for," the former Pacers shooting guard explained.

For 100 miles from Fishers to Terre Haute it was about the men and women fighting and who've fought with the goal of raising $100,000.

To learn more about this effort and how you can donate, you can visit here.

Don't forget to also find out how you can join the FOX 59 team for the 2019 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.

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