Why I Ride: Kim Herrity
“I ride in the Breakthrough Bike Challenge because I’m thankful for research at the Abramson Cancer Center that has benefited me and others battling cancer—and I want people to be aware of melanoma and the importance of protecting your skin.”
— Kim Herrity, melanoma survivor
In 2014, Kim Herrity was living an active life with her husband and two sons when she went to her dermatologist for a routine skin check-up. A dime-sized mole on the back of her leg was itchy and had recently turned black. Her dermatologist removed the mole, and unfortunately, subsequent biopsies revealed that she had melanoma. Kim was shocked at the aggressive treatment suggested—both significant surgery and immunotherapy—and sought a second opinion at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center (ACC).
At the ACC, Kim met Lynn Schuchter, MD, and after discussing all of her options, Kim chose the “Wait and Watch” surveillance program—or as Kim says, “Wait and Celebrate.” Kim would have biannual CT scans, biannual groin ultrasounds, and quarterly visits to Penn Dermatologist Emily Chu, MD, PhD.
Six months later, Kim received a clean scan. She went to shake Dr. Schuchter’s hand to thank her for the good news, but Dr. Schuchter embraced her in a full hug. Kim says this is when she knew she had picked the perfect doctor. Last year, at Kim’s three-year check-up, Dr. Schuchter handed her a brochure for the Breakthrough Bike Challenge (BBC) and challenged Kim—an avid runner—to join her BBC team, Mission Melanoma.
"I am continually inspired by the courageous, beautiful, loving people I encounter every day at the ACC," Dr. Schuchter shared. "And as a physician, I have learned that when faced with the pain and suffering of cancer, people become generous and caring. My patients are my motivation to take on this ride—patients in need of better options to fight their melanoma, and patients who demonstrate a bravery that is so inspiring."
Not only did Kim pedal toward cures in the 50-mile BBC ride, but the following weekend, she completed a half marathon. This year, she and her husband created their own BBC team, Mela-NO-more.
Kim rides because it is part of her health journey. “It's my time to decompress, to be with myself, just me and the pavement. I ride in the Breakthrough Bike Challenge because I’m thankful for research at the ACC that has benefited me and others battling cancer—and I want people to be aware of melanoma and the importance of protecting your skin,” she said.