Why She Tries
On August 15, 2010, Maria Risbara reluctantly attended her first Maine Cancer Foundation Tri for a Cure.
Maria's mom, Mary Jane, was doing her first Tri and wanted her families support. Earlier in the year, Maria's now sister-in-law, Laura, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was just 24. The unexpected news shocked this tight-knit family leaving them looking for ways to help.
Once she arrived at the SMCC campus where the Tri took place, Maria was glad she was there to support her mom and experience the power of the event. "I was so inspired by the hundreds of women of all ages who swam, biked and ran the course. They were all doing the Tri because they had been touched by cancer and wanted to make a difference," said Maria.
After Laura completed her cancer treatment, she knew she had to do the Tri herself. She was so moved by Mary Jane and all the other women athletes, she reached out to her sister, Jenna and to Maria to put together a team for the 2011 Tri.
On July 17th, Maria will be competing for the fifth consecutive year in the 9th annual Maine Cancer Foundation's Tri for a Cure. Over the years, she has recruited various friends and family members to join her team. Two years ago, Maria lost her grandfather to pancreatic cancer and she along with five other Risbara's did the Tri in his memory under the team name Papas Girls. "We raised over $10,000 in 2014. There were a lot of people we knew who were touched by cancer and wanted to support our team," said Maria.
Over the five years Maria has competed in the Tri, she has raised over $5,000 on her own. "I start early and do a lot of different things to help raise the money for the Tri," says Maria. An avid baker, Maria mixes up brownies, cookies and more to sell at bake sales. She has a special Clynk account and shares recycling bags with family, friends and co-workers. Plus, she relies on Facebook and personal donations.
Once again, the Tri for a Cure is a family affair for the Risbara's in 2016. Maria's has six cOusins participating in the Tri in July, plus, her sister-in-law Laura will be competing for the fifth year and as a solo athlete for the third time. "This year is a very special year for our family since the week of the Tri marks the five year anniversary of Laura being cancer-free", said Maria. "We are really looking forward to celebrating this anniversary. I am happy to do what I can to help other families dealing with cancer."