“Riding my bike during Maria’s illness was very helpful for me to take a break and relieve stress,” said Jim who rides in 24 Foundation and is the sales manager for event sponsor Diamond Springs. “I felt guilty about her illness. Every breath I took when I rode, I did it for her.”
In sickness and in health, the Quinn’s stood by one another during their 21 years of marriage. Diagnosed with cancer in September 2011, Maria passed away in November 2012. What started out as colon cancer metastasized to her liver, lymph nodes, lungs and spine.
“With all that Maria was going through I wanted to trade places with her,” said Jim. “She was an angel. She was so strong and such a great fighter.”
During her treatment, Maria had her gall bladder removed. A month later, so did Jim. Shortly after the 2012 24 Foundation of Charlotte, he felt ill and ended up having his gall bladder removed. But even cancer didn’t prevent Maria from being by Jim’s side when he was hospitalized.
Originally from New York, Jim, Maria and their two children moved to Charlotte in 2005. Prior to their move, Jim was in major car accident that put him in a drug-induced coma. It was cycling that played a huge role in his recovery.
“Getting on my bike again was my motivation to do physical therapy and get better,” Jim said.
Once in Charlotte, Jim found a job at Diamonds Springs, which provides all the water for the Charlotte event. He adds, “We have been supplying water to 24 Foundation for seven years. We are proud to support this event and our goal is to make it as easy as possible for everyone involved.”
What he finds most rewarding about riding in 24 Foundation is, “When you’re pedaling, you’re doing more than that. You’re using your body to help survivors get better. It’s not just about raising money. It’s about raising awareness of cancer.”