FAIRMONT - It all started because Susan Boaz was looking for a way to help her daughter.
Fighting breast cancer for years, Kelly Kreft was undergoing treatments like a champ, despite a series of setbacks and surgeries.
Kreft lives on a farm in northwest Iowa, and Boaz, who lives in Fairmont, wanted to make it easier for her daughter to get around.
FIGHTER?— Kelly Kreft poses with a mini bike her stepfather and stepbrother made for her to raffle off to raise money for breast cancer awareness.
Inspiration came in the form of a miniature motorized bike Kreft could use to drive around the farm, and Boaz knew just who should make it.
Her husband Gerry and stepson Derek enjoy rebuilding minibikes - their garage is an orderly testament to their hobby. Boaz would ask them to make something for Kreft.
Gerry and Derek decided they would make this bike from scratch. It took more than a year. As they worked, they thought about how Kreft handled her disease, about how she has been the No. 1 fund-raiser for Join the Journey Breast Cancer Foundation for the past several years.
What if, instead of giving Kreft the bike to ride, they gave it to her to raffle off?
Kreft was on board with the idea, adding the raffle to other fund-raising activities, such as selling bracelets emblazoned with Save the TaTas.
Kreft was 25 years old when she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. It went into remission after a lumpectomy, but returned with vigor. She ended up with a double mastectomy and full lumpectomy.
But the cancer wasn't done wreaking havoc. Several more surgeries ensued, including inserting a pump to deliver radiation seeds to her liver, removal of a portion of her tibia, and a total shoulder replacement. She is still undergoing therapy.
The mini bike her stepfather and stepbrother created is, of course, pink. It goes as fast as 30 mph on its 3-horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine. It starts with the pull of a rope.
Kreft will participate in Join the Journey's Breast Cancer walk Sept. 16 in Rochester with her team, KellyKay and the TaTas.
All donations to Kreft's cause go toward research, mammograms, equipment and comfort items for breast cancer patients staying in the hospital.
To enter the raffle for the mini bike, send $5 and contact information to Bike Raffle, c/o Kelly Kreft, 2865 Canyon Road, Sac City, IA 50583.
The drawing is Sept 1.