Nashua Man with Stage IV Lung Cancer to Ride 25 Miles in Lung Association’s Annual Cycle the Seacoast Event
(March 1, 2016) -
PORTSMOUTH, NH- Eric Bergeson of Nashua began participating in Cycle the Seacoast after he was diagnosed with lung cancer and was immediately hooked. However, soon after he started participating the treatments took their toll and Bergeson decided to step off the bike and volunteer at the annual event instead. Now, after being re-diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer at 73 years of age, Bergeson has decided it is time to get back on two wheels and ride 25 miles in Cycle the Seacoast on Sunday, May 1.
Cycle the Seacoast is a one-day, multi-route cycling event that is both challenging and fun for everyone, from serious athletes to weekend warriors with kids in tow. With 25-, 50- or 100- mile options to choose from, there is a route to fit any ability level. Cyclists enjoy beautiful ocean views as they travel along the historic Seacoast in New Hampshire.
Eric was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 and had the upper, right lobe of his lung removed. Following the surgery, Bergeson had a CT-scan annually to monitor the cancer. Then on the fifth anniversary of his original diagnosis, the cancer returned. “I thought it would be a clear screening, like all the ones before. Since July of 2014, I’ve just been trying to live a positive life and not let cancer hold me back,” Bergeson said. To date, Bergeson has raised close to $1,000 to help the Lung Association spread awareness of its mission to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.
“Having Eric participate in our Cycle the Seacoast is truly an honor,” said Jeff Seyler, CEO & President of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “Cycle the Seacoast is an event that brings in people from all walks of life and age groups to support people, like Eric, who suffer from lung disease. Eric’s dedication to the Lung Association despite what he may be going through physically is admirable. We’re grateful to him for volunteering his time and energy to our organization over the years.”
To train for Cycle the Seacoast, Bergeson is working with a spin instructor and frequents the Nashua YMCA at least three times a week. “It’s something I’m looking forward to with great anticipation. I’m determined to do it, no matter how slow I go, I just want to get to the finish line,” Bergeson said. In addition to training to take part in the event, Eric has recruited his primary care physician and his oncologist to ride with him. He is also working towards creating a lung cancer support group.
While some view Eric as an inspiration, he says he’s inspired every time he attends Cycle the Seacoast. “I’m so impressed by those who come out and give up their time and go through the expense of participating. As I become more involved, I appreciate more and more how deeply people feel about this event and the Lung Association’s mission. . And now being a survivor, it has even greater meaning to me. People have told me I inspire them, I’m just trying to show people there’s life after a diagnosis,” Bergeson said.
For more information or to register for Cycle the Seacoast, visit BikeTrekNewEngland.org or e-mail CycleTheSeacoast@LungNE.org. There is a $35 registration fee. On-site registration will be accepted for $45. Participants must raise a minimum of $250 per person.