BC Hosts Second Cycle For Survival Event in Honor of Lisa Gallup
April 28, 2014
Written by senior Kristen Scott
Update: Over 460 student-athletes, coaches, staff and members of the Boston College community rode in memory of Lisa Gallup on April 30, raising over $10,000 for cancer research. Check out the photo gallery.
Barry Gallup, now associate athletics director for football operations, has seen Boston College in many different facets: As a student-athlete, as an assistant coach, as a parent, and now as an administrator. With almost 40 years at BC altogether, Gallup is known and loved throughout the Boston College community. Lisa Gallup used to always be introduced as "Barry's daughter."
"But I loved that when she came to BC, that I was introduced as `Lisa's dad,'" Gallup said. "She didn't want to just be 'Barry Gallup's daughter,' she wanted to be her own person."
A picture of his children, Lisa and Barry Jr., smiling and radiant after completing a half marathon in spring of 2012, sat proudly on Gallup's desk in his Yawkey Center office. That summer, Lisa also participated in the Boston Triathlon and she won the Rookie Nurse of the Year award at New York Presbyterian. Lisa earned her master's degree at NYU, and was selected to be the student speaker at graduation. Although Lisa had cancer, her zeal for life and strength of spirit thrived.
"Lisa was a high-energy person. She had a great work ethic. She was so positive all the time," Gallup said. "I love what Dave Linn said, 'Lisa has cancer, but cancer doesn't have Lisa.' That's what she wanted Cycle for Survival to be. She wanted it to be an event that people looked forward to going to, not just another fundraiser."
After graduating from Boston College in 2009, Lisa worked as an overnight oncology nurse at New York Presbyterian . Working in New York, she and her brother met Dave Linn, who founded Cycle for Survival with his wife Jennifer when she was diagnosed with sarcoma. Through Cycle, teams spin together to raise money for rare cancer research at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The world's oldest and largest private cancer center, MSKCC is dedicated solely to rare cancer care and research. Lisa fell in love with Cycle for Survival, its philosophy and its cause.
When Lisa was diagnosed with cancer in fall of 2011, Cycle for Survival only grew closer to her heart.
Cycle has truly taken off. In its inception in 2007, Cycle raised $250,000 for rare cancer research. In 2014, that number has multiplied by 80, growing to $20 million. Cycle for Survival is flourishing in its seventh year of existence with 13 locations nationwide including New York, Chicago, San Diego and Boston. Cycle recently expanded to Boston in 2013 with Lisa's efforts to bring the foundation she so dearly loved to the city she loved equally as much.
"She made us promise that no matter what happened, we would continue to support Cycle for Survival," Gallup said.
With the Gallup family's support, the Boston event debuted on February 13, 2013 with unprecedented success. In its first year in the Hub, Cycle recorded its highest proceeds for new locations. The day was full of emotion for the Gallup family, as Lisa had passed just three months earlier after her 14-month fight with cancer.
"But it was an important day. It's what Lisa would have wanted," said Gallup of the inaugural cycling event in Boston.
Field hockey head coach Ainslee Lamb played a big role in bringing Cycle for Survival to Boston College. Lamb's father-in-law, Tom Lamb, was Doug Flutie's high school coach at Natick. Coach Gallup worked closely with Tom to recruit Flutie to Boston College. When Gallup became the head football coach at Northeastern, he brought Tom on as his offensive coordinator. Ainslee knew Lisa from her years as a student at Boston College and feels a close connection to the entire Gallup family.
"I emailed Cycle for Survival and asked them if they would consider doing the satellite event at BC and they were really on board with that idea," said Lamb. "The motivation for bringing Cycle to BC was based on the Boston College community showing support for the Gallup family," said Lamb.
"Lisa was an Eagle; she loved Boston College, so she would have been embarrassed, but she would have been so proud that they brought it to BC in her memory," Gallup said.
Boston College continues to show its support for the Gallup family. For the second year in a row, the school that they call home will come together to support Cycle for Survival in Lisa's name. On Wednesday, April 30, student-athletes, coaches, and members of the BC community will cycle for 25-minute intervals throughout the day in support of Team FabuLisa. The event takes place in the Flynn Recreation Complex spin rooms. This year's goal is to raise $10,000 in honor of Lisa.
"It really means a lot to me. It's a very draining day, but to see all the teams participate. I'll go over to the Plex and see somebody wearing one of the green t-shirts from last year. It was inspiring to see all the student-athletes gather around the cause. To see everyone riding bikes from the athletics director, to the players, the coaches and administrators - It gave me a warm feeling," Gallup said.
"There's reflection and sad moments for sure, but at the same time it's such a high-energy, celebratory event. That's what Lisa was. She wanted to celebrate life. That's why I think Cycle for Survival embodied so much of what Lisa was about with her fight," Lamb said.
"As the event gets closer, I know it's going to be a great day," Lamb said. "I can't tell you how proud I am of the Boston College athletic community and any other extended community that gets involved. I'm glad people want to be there; she would be proud of that.
"It really reflects the philosophy of the athletic department. It always impresses me that when the time comes to support others, every team is in line waiting to help. I think that really trickles down from the coaches. It's a real tribute to the coaches of BC that they really value the BC family."
Gallup remembers looking up into the stands of the Power Gym after last year's Cycle for Survival event. What he saw in the faces of the coaches, student-athletes, administrators, custodians was an overwhelming sense of gratitude, support, and love and he is sure to see the same this year.
For more information on Cycle for Survival, visit cycleforsurvival.org