Green Bay, WI -- Vikki Baumler is no stranger to pushing her body to the limit. After completing two half marathons in California and a pair of 100 plus mile cycling events in Wisconsin, Vikki is training for her next, big challenge.
"It's a little intimidating," admits Baumler.
It is "America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride" around Lake Tahoe which includes a 900 foot climb, all in honor of her father Bruce who lost his decade long battle with leukemia a year ago.
"I can do this. I can do 100 miles. That doesn't even compare to him going through chemo so many times."
Vikki says the army veteran's exposure to agent orange while serving in Vietnam caused his blood cancer.
"You're just upset for him that he gave so much and his life is cut short."
Before his passing at age 69, Vikki's father was her biggest cheerleader and traveled to see her cross the finish line. Even after his death, Vikki says he's with her in spirit. She straps his veteran's cap to her handlebars which motivates her to never give up as a member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's "Team in Training."
"Just the camaraderie and the passion, everyone has so much passion who are doing this. They're all doing it for someone."
Support for Vikki is pouring in. Nearly 30 area restaurants provided recipes for her "Fueling the Miles" cookbook. Her employer, ThedaCare, and Western Racquet are serving as print sponsors and have even provided a free, personal trainer.
"Just the fact that it's something so selfless and she's doing it with such humility and humbleness and for such a great cause is amazing," said personal trainer Bianca White.
"To see people rally around a cause and cheer you on, really reminds you how good people are," said Vikki.
Now as her five months of grueling training begins, Vikki keeps her eye on the prize. 100 miles in June. A ride to remember.
"I definitely think he'll be there with me."
Over her past four events, Vikki and the Team in Training have raised $10,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The money raised goes towards research for new treatments and a possible cure. It also goes to help patients with their medical bills, travel expenses and rent. Vikki has set a fundraising goal of $5,000 for her next ride on June 1st.
Click here for information on Vikki's "Fueling the Miles" cookbook.
Click here for information on Fueling the Miles T-shirt sales.