Almanac

Community - November 24, 2010

Daughter starts bike ride in memory of mom

by Kate Daly

Bicycle Sunday on Canada Road in Woodside turned into Tricia Diller Day on Nov. 14, when hundreds of friends and family gathered for a bike ride to remember her and raise money for breast cancer research.

Ms. Diller died in January at the age of 52 after an eight-year battle with the disease that went into remission for a stretch, then returned. She left behind her husband, Jim Diller of Woodside, and two children, James, a seventh-grader at Woodside School, and Devon, a fifth-grader there.

Devon wanted to do something in her mother's memory, said Joanie Davidson, Devon's grandmother. Since she was too young to participate in a Susan G. Komen Race for the Curte, Devon started her own event.

Riding bikes on a road that was already scheduled to be closed off to vehicular traffic seemed like a natural choice.

A group of mostly Woodside School moms mobilized to help support the fundraiser, working with Devon to come up with an entry form, a waiver and publicity.

With the help of her best friend and fellow classmate, Sophia Ashworth, Devon designed a T-shirt for the event. The back features a picture of Ms. Diller with her children and a line her family says describes her well: "Live, Laugh, Love."

A college friend of Ms. Diller's helped underwrite an order for 250 shirts, and they sold out before the ride at $20 each.

Friends, family and students also pitched in by making fresh baked goods. They set up a table at the corner of Canada and Edgewood roads on the day of the event and asked for donations in return.

That Sunday, the day smiled on everyone; it was sunny with temperatures reaching up into the seventies. As people lined up their bikes or prepared to walk the 7.6-mile roundtrip route, the atmosphere felt festive for the Tricia Diller Memorial Bike for Breast Cancer.

Carol Arvidsson of Woodside was there with her husband and son, Karl, a classmate of James since preschool. She went to Woodside High and college with James' father, and choked up a bit when she recalled meeting Tricia Diller for the first time with their two-year-olds in tow. After a pause, Ms. Arvidsson said the best thing about the ride was, "This is for us to get together, a celebration of life."

Devon said she was thrilled with the great weather and large turnout. Shortly after 11 a.m. she led the ride surrounded by friends. Her older brother complimented her for all of the effort she put in. "It's pretty cool she stepped up to raise money for such a good cause," James said.

Stephanie Ashworth, one of the main organizers, estimated more than 300 people participated, and that $15,000 has been raised so far for the Tricia Diller Breast Cancer Research Fund at the Stanford Cancer Center.

The Raynor family of Woodside won a prize for signing up the most sponsors, and money is still being collected. Contributions may be made with checks payable to: Tricia Diller Bike for Breast Cancer, c/o Stephanie Ashworth, 303 Glenwood Ave., Woodside, CA 94062.

Devon's grandmother said Devon and Sophia are "already designing the shirt for next year," so this could become an annual memorial ride.

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