Survivor rides to help others fight cancer

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One day, 14 years ago, changed Tony McEachern's life forever. During a routine ride, the skilled cyclist had a seizure.

Paramedics rushed him to the hospital. That's when doctors determined the seizure was caused by a brain tumor and gave him six months to live.

"I like to think I was an extremely good athlete," McEachern told FOX 13 News. "Those are the most terrifying words to hear. You never know what to say."

McEachern said he wasn't ready to die, so he put his passion for cycling on hold and went for chemotherapy, radiation and special treatments.

Today, he is a survivor.

"I saw so many people trying [so] hard not to die that they forgot how to live. I felt like I could show people how to live with a disease," he said.

He started Team Tony and Cycle for Life. It's a two-day ride spanning 200 miles. It's also a tradition for some in the Sarasota Police Department.

This year's will be Sarasota Police Lt. Lori Jaress' 5th ride.

"Biking 200 miles is nothing through the journey that Tony has gone through," she said.

Her husband, Lt. Daivd Scott said Tony leads by example and is a true inspiration.

"It is not going to get any easier. It is going to be emotional week," said Lt. David Scott. "We all have bad days and when I have minor things go wrong in my life, I think, 'this is nothing,' and I often think of Tony and what he has gone through."

Tony's foundation helps cancer patients and survivors connect with each other. It is a network of support that has already helped 400 cancer patients.

"Why let something like this change your life? It will, somewhat. Yet there is no sense in diverting your life. Keep going the way you were going," said McEachern.

Cycle for Life will take place on October 8 and will finish with a 5k run and 1-mile walk on October 9. Survivors will welcome cyclists back to Sarasota after the walk.

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