A cycling event this fall will help pay the medical bills of Lori Cove, Cary’s transportation director who was struck by a car while riding her bike last year.
Tour de Cove on Oct. 7 hopes to raise $50,000 to help cover costs for the the long-term nursing facility in Matthews where Cove is being treated.
Cove suffered a traumatic brain injury on Oct. 17 in a hit-and-run collision, which also injured another cyclist. Her recovery has been slow and uncertain – she can’t yet walk, eat or speak – but her friends say her survival is itself a victory, given the bleak prognosis doctors offered when she was first admitted to the hospital.
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“They told us from early on that when she hit the year mark, that was the threshold of how far she would get,” said family friend Haley Young Roy, who visits Cove most weekends. “They’ve extended that a bit, but what she can do is not consistent. The other day, she wrote some letters. That was huge, but then we couldn’t get her to give a thumbs-up for five days after.”
Scott Hecht, Cary’s director of public works, is the chief organizer of Tour de Cove, which is co-sponsored by Inside Out Sports and the Town of Cary. He also helped organize a vigil for Cove outside Cary’s town hall in December.
“People tend to forget and move on with their lives,” Hecht said. “I don’t want people to forget that she’s fighting every day.”
Tour de Cove will feature rides of 20 and 50 miles, starting and finishing at Inside Out Sports at the intersection of Cary Parkway and James Jackson Avenue. There will also be a 1-mile walk, a silent auction, family-friendly festivities and live music.
Cove, a dedicated cyclist and endurance athlete, had completed an Ironman triathlon just two weeks before the accident.
Supporters have donated more than $26,000 through a GoFundMe page set up last spring by Roy. She said Cove’s monthly medical costs range from about $15,000 to $20,000, almost all of which is now being paid out of pocket.
To register for the event or to learn more, go to tourdecove.com. Registration costs $35 per cyclist through Oct. 1. Walkers can enter for $20.
Gargan: 919-829-4807; @hgargan