Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-10-26
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


Lesbian bikes 1,000 miles for a cause
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it 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 .

facebook twitter pin it 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.


Gay News

Cubs mark Spirit Day, are in World Series 2016-10-25 - On Spirit Day ( Oct. 20 ), Chicago Cubs manger Joe Maddon posed with openly gay Major League Baseball ( MLB ) Ambassador ...

Gay News

Election Eve Bash, Dance for Democracy 2016-10-20 - Clandestina Chicago, Alma Izquierdo, Brooke Webster, Monica Raymund and Sophia Bush present an Election Eve Bash Dance for Democracy, Monday, Nov. 7, 7 ...

Gay News

Fitness expo back in Chicago -- with one change 2016-10-19 - The fitness/wellness expo known as Club Industry returned to Chicago Oct. 12-14. However, there was one big change this year. Instead of ...

Gay News

Lesbian historian's home up for sale 2016-10-19 - A house that was once the home of lesbian historian/librarian Jeannette Howard Foster ( 1895-1981 ) is being sold in the Chicago neighborhood ...

Gay News

CWIT marks 35 years on Nov. 7 2016-10-19 - Chicago Women in Trades ( CWIT ) will mark its 35th anniversary with an event Monday, Nov. 7, 5:30-8 p.m., at Lagunitas Brewing ...

Gay News

Delle Donne on All-Star First Team 2016-10-19 - Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne was selected to the All-WNBA First Team. Delle Donne makes her second consecutive appearance on the ...

Gay News

World news: Indonesian arrest, lesbian MP dies, hate crimes in Scotland 2016-10-18 - A gay couple were arrested in Indonesia for a photo showing them kissing that appeared on Facebook, PinkNews noted. A 22-year-old university student ...

Gay News


Gay News

BREAST CANCER MONTH Cathy Seabaugh: Offering hope in the fight against breast cancer 2016-10-12 - In June 2016, Cathy Seabaugh's sister, Shelia Hager, passed away after spending many years battling breast cancer. Hager was first diagnosed in 1999. ...

Gay News

Chicago Sky host #GETPINK game 2016-10-12 - On Sept. 13, the Chicago Sky hosted its annual #GETPINK Game presented by Weiss Memorial Hospital when the team welcomed the Minnesota Lynx ...


Copyright © 2016 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.








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.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by