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Fighting Back After Cancer: Survivor Linda Crill Reinvents Herself After Cancer Strikes Her Family Twice

7:09 AM, Mar 9, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Motorcycles and women: forget the image of the tough, tattooed broad, two up on her guy's bike. Breast cancer survivor Linda Crill is one of the new breed of "biker babes" breaking those old stereotypes. Professional women, older women like Linda are among the fastest growing segment of the motorcycle community.

"On a motorcycle you feel the wind, taste the salt and feel the light on your face. Nothing is obstructed. It is the way of being full out there with nature. There is nothing quite like the rush. Nobody knows who you are, they just see a woman rider," Linda tells us.

Linda was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer but fortunately, was the cancer was detected early. Linda wasn't as frightened with her diagnosis or what she called the "Blind Curves" that were ahead. That's because she had already conquered fear by learning how to ride a motorcycle.

"When you do things day after day that scare you and you survive, there's something that comes about inside you that goes, look what I've done. I've made it," she added.

The first time Linda, a retired Fortune 100 executive, made the bike survivor connection was 7 years ago. When her husband Bill died of cancer and the business they built together folded, she was at a loss for what to do next. A friend suggested she register for a 2500-mile trip on a Harley. She didn't know how to ride, but took a crash course online and learned in 30 days.

Linda says, "What the motorcycle did, it gave me back my self esteem. It showed me I wasn't a quitter."

After 8 months of healing from a lumpectomy, radiation and breast reconstruction, Linda is back on her bike and back on track. She's finished a book about her journey managing change, loss and survival called "Blind Curves." She hopes to publish in the spring.

Until Linda's memoir is published, you can keep up with her through her blog.  To keep yourself and your Buddy in check, text BUDDYCHECK9 to 25543 for a monthly Early Detection alert. The alerts are sponsored by Washington Radiology Associates.