FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Imagine being new to this country, starting your life and in the blink of an eye, you are diagnosed with cancer. For one Frankfort woman, cycling has given her an outlet while fighting for her life.
Preparing for a bike ride is something Melanie Wiedemann has fallen in love since she moved to Kentucky three and half years ago.
"Normally we are pretty much the same speed, but now I'm not as fast," said Wiedemann.
Coming to the states from her home country of Germany, Melanie only knew her husband. She quickly found a family in the cycling world, many from the Bluegrass Cycling Club. In June 2012, she had to hit the brakes.
"I was thinking it was a milk duct, so I was not worried about it one minute," said Wiedemann of a spot she found on her breast.
Prior to her diagnosis the 39-year-old was in the prime of her life, married, a mother to a nine month old and enjoying life. The lump was discovered during a routine checkup after giving birth.
"I was thinking at first, it was a mistake and I don't have cancer and I will not lose my hair and everything will be fine."
Not letting cancer control her life, she shaved her head and started chemo and radiation. Through it all, her extended cycling family was beside her every step of the way, doing so in their Team Melanie shirts.
"As long as I can bicycle, it could be worse, as long as I can hop on that bike, I will be fine."
To prove she would be fine, she took to her wheels after being diagnosed and cycled 35 miles in the Bike to Beat Cancer race. Since then, she has not looked back. If you get behind her on the road, you will see the motto she has adopted.
"Yeah it is our logo, fight like hell."
Melanie is not sure where this cancer journey will take her. For now, she is on one path and it's to becoming cancer free. Cancer free to Melanie is being on her bike and on the open road.
Melanie has 16 radiation treatments left. Her advice to other women and men is don't stop fighting. She says cancer loves when you are weak, so don't let it see your weakness.