Tri for a Cure Sunday benefits efforts for early detection of breast, ovarian cancer

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DENVER -- Biking and staying fit was something Noriko Townsend of Fort Collins enjoyed doing for many years, but seven years ago a routine day surgery took her off course.

“During surgery the nerve to my thigh was cut by accident, I woke up with a paralyzed leg. Prior to the surgery I used to run full marathons, half marathons and triathlons, so life has changed.”

Noriko’s life did change, but it didn’t stop her.

“I still have one good leg,” she says with confidence and determination and within three days after her surgery, Noriko got back up and started walking again with a walker. Within two weeks she started to strengthen her leg by jogging in the pool.

“I had to do something, I just didn’t want to sit around and feel sorry for myself.”

Without any hesitation and strong determination Noriko got back on course.

“I’m gonna' swim, and I’m gonna' ride a bike with one leg and because I cannot run, I’m going to walk.”

For the first time since her surgery, Noriko will take part in her first triathlon this Sunday at Tri for a Cure using a brace on her right leg.

Tri for a Cure is an event that helps support Bright Pink which is a nonprofit organization that helps educate young women about the importance of early breast cancer detection and ovarian cancer.

Amy Downing is the event founder of Tri for a Cure and she says the goal for Tri for a Cure is to empower women of all ages, all shapes and all sizes.

So, if empowering women is what Tri for a Cure is all about, then Noriko Townsend certainly fits the bill and she’ll do it all with that one good leg.

If you are interested in participating in this year’s Tri for a Cure event, it’s not too late.  Walk up registration is open this Saturday at the Bicycle Village in Aurora from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Tri for a Cure takes place this Sunday morning at Cherry Creek State Park.