A motorcycle poker ride that was started to raise money for a Covington woman diagnosed with breast cancer soon turned into an event to help others with the disease.
Ride for Roxy began in November 2009 as family and friends of Roxanne Hall, a 30-year Covington resident, joined together to help out with her medical expenses.Over 150 motorcycles and vehicles rode through Newton, Rockdale and Henry counties to help raise more than $14,000 for Hall's benefit.
Chris Miller, Hall's son, said at the end of the benefit, which was concluded at the 5 O'clock Bar, they had two people sacrifice their hair to help raise money for their mom.
"We had two people auction off at the end of the ride to shave their head for my mom and ended up raising $1,000," he said. "They literally stood up there and said [they] would shave [their] heads if people raised $1,000 and everybody came up with the money and in the middle of the bar floor, we shaved [their head]."
Crystal Miller, Hall's daughter, said her mother was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer in October 2005. She said her mother had a lumpectomy and received radiation therapy to help treat her cancer. In September 2009, Hall received the news that her cancer had returned.
"[She] received mammograms every six months since her original diagnosis," she said. "In September when she went for her scheduled procedure, they discovered a lump and performed a biopsy and discovered that it was in fact cancerous."
Crystal said at the time, she was in Washington D.C. and she came back to Georgia to help take care of her mom. She said the doctors told Hall that the new strand of breast cancer they was found was a much more aggressive cancer. Hall and her physicians agreed that it would be best for her to have a double mastectomy.
"In October of 2009 my mom began [her] journey through recovery as she had a double mastectomy," Crystal said. "She also received four cycles of chemotherapy and several reconstructive surgeries throughout several months."
This fall, Hall is celebrating three years of being cancer free. After helping their mom with the Ride for Roxy event in 2009, both Crystal and Chris made it their mission to help others by creating the Ride for Roxy Foundation.
"Every since mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, we've always been big in breast cancer fundraising for research and that's why we started our own foundation," Chris said.
Crystal said the foundation is meant to help other people with their health costs related to cancer. Over the past three years the foundation, which Chris said is also sponsored by several local businesses, has helped several other local women who suffered from some form of cancer. The foundation has hosted four motorcycle rides and raised more than $35,000.
Crystal said in addition to helping local women, she and her mom want to create a fund for women to help them receive free mammograms and other preventative test to help fight cancer.
"They're people [who] don't meet income guidelines [and don't] qualify for state funded insurance nor can they afford private insurance," Crystal said. The Ride for Roxy Foundation hopes to be able to help fund these procedures free of cost and save lives with early detection. If it wasn't for these annual or semi-annual procedures, [my mom] would not be able to tell her story today. I'm very fortunate to still have my mom with me and I want the same for everyone."