It's been a while since I cried, but I did today. I was thinking of Sonia Bawa, whom I got to know while I was a newspaper reporter in Fort Collins covering her battle with leukemia. My first meeting with Sonia was at Brent's Place, a local nonprofit that provides lodging for kids with cancer. She was a peace activist and told me that one of the greatest causes in her life was to help end war and instead fund a cure for cancer so that other children wouldn't have to suffer like her. I was at Children's Hospital when Sonia died in 2005. She was 15.
Though heartbreaking stories are behind every door at Brent's, it felt like a home when Sonia and her mother, Beena, welcomed me. The people at Brent's work hard to make it feel that way, and you can support them today during their 10th-annual "Roadless Ride," a daylong charity spin-a-thon at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club (5801 S. Quebec St. in Greenwood Village). The fundraiser will draw more than 600 people, including UnitedHealthcare of Colorado CEO Beth Soberg and pro cyclist Jonny Clarke. The tens of thousands of dollars organizers are hoping to raise will allow Brent's Place to continue offering not just meals and rooms, but family outings, tutoring, art therapy, and much more. The ride began at 6 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m.