Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-07-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Lesbian bikes 1,000 miles for a cause
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2012-11-27

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Erin O'Fiel Stevens spent the summer bicycling for a cause, one that many even within her industry aren't too familiar with.

Stevens, 27, a lesbian who lives in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, is the founder and chair for the Facial Prosthetics Initiatives Network. Her goal this summer, which she accomplished, was The Worthwhile Mile. She set out to ride more than 1,000 miles on her bicycle to help bring awareness and financial support to a clinical field known as anaplastology, the practice of prosthetic restoration of facial or body anatomy when surgical reconstruction is unachievable or undesired, she said.

"Essentially, our patients are missing or have lost an eye, ear, nose, or portion of the face, hands or feet due to cancer, accident- or abuse-related trauma, or congenital origin, and for a variety of reasons, the most favorable option is to replace it with an artificial, life-like prosthesis," Stevens said. "I pledged to ride 1,000 miles in hopes of bringing attention to this field, which is largely unknown by the general public and, unfortunately, by many health care professionals.

"While a graduate student and employee at The University of Illinois at Chicago's Craniofacial Center, I continually encountered patients who had gone years before ever becoming informed of prosthetic treatment as an option. What is, perhaps, even more shocking is how I often I come across doctors, many very experienced, who have no knowledge of facial prosthetics. This is not a new field; we were creating facial prostheses for soldiers mangled by trench warfare in World War I. I'm not sure why this field receives so little attention in the medical field, but it has become my mission to change that."

She founded the non-profit organization last April to educate the world about treatment options and innovations in the field. The Worthwhile Mile served as a kick off event to bring attention to the field and this new organization, she said.

"The biggest highlight of the 1,000 miles was most definitely the people I met along the ride," Stevens said. "Most of the rides I participated in involved riding 60- to 100-miles per day, and when you're in the saddle for that many hours, conversation is the best distraction from the number of miles ahead of you. I was able to share The Worthwhile Mile with people from all over the country."

About half of Stevens' miles came in the Register's Annual Group Bike Ride Across Iowa—a seven-day, 471-mile trek from the western to eastern border of Iowa.

"The distance of the [Iowa] ride was not so much the challenge, but the heat was unbelievable," she said. "The first four days of the ride, we rode in temperatures over 100 degrees, in the middle of Iowa's scorching drought. It was like riding in an oven. Despite the heat, it turned out to be one of the coolest things I've ever done. There were 25,000 riders from all over the country, pedaling for all different reasons. Every day was better than the [previous] and the support you received from other riders was insanely motivating."

Stevens raised several thousand dollars over the summer, with donations from more than 100 people.

She's already planning The Worthwhile Mile 2013.

"My goal is to turn The Worthwhile Mile into a multi-person event, so that others can pledge a distance of their choice and dedicate their ride, or rides, to a cause," she said.

Stevens is accepting donations through the end of 2012, and all funds will be donated to the Walter Spohn Education Fund, established to support research and education in anaplastology.

"It always feels good to achieve a goal you've made for yourself, especially a big one," Stevens said. "I don't know that I was personally changed through this experience, but I'm certainly more motivated to encourage people to give their activities a purpose. If you feel like running a 5K or climbing Machu Pichu, dedicating that adventure to a cause gives you a great well of motivation along the way.

"I really do feel like I've made a difference, not simply by raising money, but I think this project has energized members in the field and it is generating opportunities for me to invest creatively in the growth of anaplastology outside of the clinic."

Stevens said most of her rides were among other registered riders, though she did not know them. She did, though, ride across Iowa with a Northwestern University group coordinated by Caryl Drohan, associate head coach of Northwestern's women's softball team. "Caryl encouraged me to do my first century ride a couple years ago, and I've been in love with riding ever since," Stevens said.

"I received a ton of support from local businesses in promoting this event. Kitchen Sink Cafe (Edgewater) and Finch's Beer Co. (Chicago) helped us put on a hugely successful celebration and fundraiser at the end of the 1,000 miles."

Donations to the Walter Spohn Education Fund in honor of Stevens' 1,000 miles can be made online at www.worthwhilemile.com .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Stanley Cup makes the rounds in Boystown over Pride weekend; CGHA celebrates 2015-07-01
Katz named to State Bar Assoc'n Sexual Orientation, Gender ID Committee 2015-07-01
Queercast host Matheny looks back at program 2015-07-01
Gay sports news 2015-07-01
BackLot Bash: Four days and nights of play 2015-06-30
National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame July 24 2015-06-30
Chicago Force cruise to playoff win over Cleveland, 71-12 2015-06-27
Several thousand turn out for Chicago Dyke March 2015-06-27
Stanley Cup confirmed: Blackhawks' championship trophy in Pride Parade 2015-06-26
PASSAGES Samantha Hundley 2015-06-24
Final Amigas Latinas event July 10 2015-06-24
MOVIES 'Horses' director on lesbian romance, working with animals 2015-06-24
Barbara Gittings: Gay Pioneer 2015-06-24
UK native Sarah Outen on homestretch of four-year adventure 2015-06-24
UIC honors out former softball standout Charbonneau 2015-06-24
Force playoff game June 27 at Lane Stadium 2015-06-23
Upcoming: Proud to Run, Pride 5K, Hall of Fame noms 2015-06-23
World: Soccer star comes out; 'Thrones' criticized; activist fined 2015-06-23
Snagging the Stanley Cup at the Pride Parade 2015-06-21
Biography of gay pioneer Barbara Gittings out in time for Pride 2015-06-18
WNBA All-Star Balloting 2015 to include all current WNBA players 2015-06-17
DJ contest held at Center on Halsted 2015-06-17
Lesbian musicians kick off Pride Month 2015-06-17
Upcoming in music, sports, art, comedy 2015-06-17
Amigas Latinas kicks off archives project with reception 2015-06-16
'Turn It Up' event has casino theme 2015-06-16
Local news: Precious Davis in national campaign; Dyke March planned 2015-06-16
Blackhawks win 2015 Stanley Cup, third title in six years 2015-06-16
Chicago Force coast to final regular-season victory over St. Louis 2015-06-14
Michael Sam's future in flux 2015-06-14
Proud to run announces start times, team categories 2015-06-10
Laura Ricketts, Brooke Skinner wed 2015-06-10
Amigas Latinas exhibit June 11 at Gerber/Hart 2015-06-10
PASSAGES Ronnie Gilbert of the Weavers dies 2015-06-10
Upcoming: Takei; Dyke Delicious; Melissa Young at Davenport's; 'Witches' cabaret 2015-06-10
Former college athlete is now a rising DJ 2015-06-10
Upcoming: Second City Tennis Classic; Chicago Pride Classic calls for volunteers 2015-06-10
Griner files for annulment 2015-06-10
Frankie Knuckles, Melissa Etheridge on CDs; Robin Williams series; Village People; 'Boystown' 2015-06-10
Former Chicago trans athlete Mosier on U.S. National Men's Team 2015-06-09
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.