Nine-year-old Winter Vinecki, a resident of Gaylord Michigan, will be honoring her dad's fight against prostate cancer as the youngest competitor/fundraiser in the Athletes for a Cure Triathlon in Orlando on September 21. Winter will be given a ten-minute head start in front of the 1,000 athletes waiting for the start of the event.
Several surprises will be in store for Winter along the way. Simon Lessing, former World Champion triathlete will join Winter for the swim course. Lessing will also join her for the running leg of the event along with 2000 Olympic Silver Medalist and former Ironman Champion, Michellie Jones, and former World and Ironman Champion Karen Smyers.
On his 40th birthday in April of this year, Michael Vinecki was diagnosed with sarcomatoid carcinoma, an especially aggressive form of cancer that attacked his prostate. In the six weeks between his diagnosis and a 12-hour Father's Day surgery at the Mayo Clinic, his daughter was hard at work forming Team Winter to raise money for Athletes for a Cure and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Health permitting, Michael Vinecki, a triathlete himself, will be on site to watch his family compete.
Winter's goal was to raise $10,000 for prostate cancer research, to make people aware of the risk, and to honor her dad by fighting just as hard as he has. The Team Winter fundraisers include Winter's three brothers, Yukon (11), Magnum (7) and Ruger (5), and their mom, Dawn.
Now Winter has 1,000 members on her team. For the first time ever, the entire field of competitors at the Athletes for a Cure Triathlonin Orlando will be competing as a single team--Team Winter. Every participant who registers as a fundraiser will symbolically "give" their fundraising total to Team Winter. Their passion and their heart will be finishing the race for the Vinecki family and their father. More information on the race and Team Winter can be found at: http://www.afactri.com/.
Sunday, September 21, Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando Florida
06:45 am Race Starts at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
12:00 noon Awards Ceremony at Disney's Fort Wilderness and Campground BBQ Pavilion
"The Vinecki's are an incredibly loving and giving family. In spite of all they are going through, regardless of where life is taking them, they remain steadfast in their will to get the word out about prostate cancer and raise money for advanced research to find a cure. Their unstoppable spirit is fighting for prostate cancer patients everywhere." -- Scott Zagarino, Managing Director, Athletes for a Cure
"My dad has prostate cancer and I am helping Athletes for a Cure because they raise money to help find a cure for prostate cancer… I think my mom and dad may be a little proud of me." -- Winter Vinecki, while participating in Spinning Nation and raising $1,000 in July
"I am proud of what Winter and my family are doing for me and everyone with prostate cancer. It is extremely tough to go through." -- Michael Vinecki, while watching his daughter at the Spinning Nation event
Prostate Cancer Facts
According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 28,000 men will die from prostate cancer in 2008 while more than 186,000 new cases are diagnosed. With the aging of the baby-boomer generation, the number of new cases diagnosed annually is projected to reach 300,000 by 2015-an increase of more than 60 percent-with an accompanying annual death rate of approximately 45,000. Early detection and treatment can result in a five-year survival rate of more than 90 percent.
Prostate Cancer Facts
Orlando: 9-Year-Old Winter Vinecki To Compete In Triathlon In Honor Of Her Father With Advanced Prostate Cancer