LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - Biking is a true passion for this athlete at heart, but following what Cheryl Wolfinger thought was a simple doctor's visit is when her life took a drastic detour.
"The doctor sat on the edge of the bed and said Ms. Wolfinger, we're going to be looking for something today, a cancer called lymphoma. That was not was I was expecting to hear when I woke up that morning," said Cheryl Wolfinger, Founder of International Sports Federation.
She received the diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2004. But her faith and that athletic tenacity kept her going.
"I knew from that moment on that my life would be different, but that God was still in control and I didn't have anything to worry about because whatever would happen would happen," Wolfinger said.
Her battle with cancer lasted nearly one year and she says it's not about what cancer took away, it's what it provided.
"To go from being strong and doing whatever you want to being dependent on someone just to get you a piece of toast, it's very humbling and it really taught me a lot about gratitude and being grateful for the physical strength God gives us," Wolfinger said.
And it's through her work as founder of the International Sports Federation that she gets to hone that physical and spiritual strength. The non-profit aids in international sports missions and ultimately led her to take on an even greater challenge.
"I'm riding my bicycle across America," Wolfinger said.
The over 3,000 mile journey began September 5 in San Diego and over a month later brings her to Lake Tomahawk in Livingston. But it's a journey that hasn't come easy. During radiation, she lost 30 percent of her lung function.
But it's something as simple as breathing which she says can be the starting point to new journeys.
"If you'll stop and catch your breath, you can do anything. You just have to keep at it," Wolfinger said.
From Livingston, tomorrow Wolfinger plans to head to Louisiana. Her goal is to ultimately reach St. Augustine, Florida on October 30.