Teri Griege was given just five years to live when she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2009.
Seven years later Teri is still fighting cancer, competing in endurance events around the world, and has built a team of cyclists who have raised nearly $750,000 for the charity Pedal the Cause.
In recognition of her inspiring example, Griege was named the 2017 recipient of the Cash, Sweat and Tears Award by the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum.
This award honors an extraordinary volunteer who has taken on physical challenges or overcome tremendous obstacles to conduct peer-to-peer fundraising for charity.
Griege received the award during a ceremony in Atlanta at the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum conference.
“Teri believes that even in the most trying and difficult circumstances — whether they be physical, mental or emotional — we can push through and overcome,” said Carrie Sweigart, chief operations officer for Pedal the Cause. “As she continues her battle against this terrible disease, we promise to continue ours in hopes of one day creating a world that is cancer free.”
Griege, an avid endurance athlete, received her diagnosis two weeks after completing an Ironman Triathlon event.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “In a blink of an eye and a snap of a finger, my life was turned upside down.”
But even as she fought her cancer, Griege said she was determined to compete in Ironman events and use her love of competing to help raise money for and awareness about colon cancer.
Since then, Griege has competed in the 2011 Kona Ironman, run five of the top marathons around the world, and cycled more than 350 miles in Pedal the Cause — all while undergoing chemotherapy. Along the way, she has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars — and inspired others to do the same.
As she prepared to accept the Cash, Sweat and Tears Award, Griege said it is important for people to find causes they care about and dedicate themselves to those causes.
“Everybody has a story. My story happens to be about cancer. But everybody has their own story,” she said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using your story for good.”
“Teri’s amazing spirit and resolve exemplify what peer-to-peer fundraising is all about,” said David Hessekiel, the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum’s founder and president. “She shows us what is possible when you are determined to make a difference — and we are honored to be able to present her with this award.”
As the winner of the Cash, Sweat & Tears Award, Griege gets a $1,000 check from award sponsor Blackbaud, a trophy and a collection of footwear and apparel from New Balance.
You can learn more about Teri Griege’s story in the video below: