STP rider spotlight: Riding #BikeSTP to celebrate being healthy and showing cancer who is boss!

In January of this year, then 21-year-old Jordan Swarthout was diagnosed with stage 3E Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Jordan halfway through treatment. In an effort to stay active, Jordan biked as much as she could. If biking wasn't an option, she'd go on walks and hikes. Photo courtesy of Jordan Swarthout.

She decided to leave Oregon State University to receive the treatment she needed at home in Sumner, Wash. One month later, determined to “dominate” the cancer, she signed up for the 2013 Group Health Seattle to Portland.

“Throughout treatment, I strived to stay as active and as fit as I have always been and I know that has helped push me through,” said Jordan.

But while she initially anticipated (only) three cycles of chemotherapy, she ended up receiving six cycles, which meant 12 chemotherapy treatments of the course of six months.

“I signed up thinking I would have at least three months of recovery to prepare for the ride but now it’s been only three weeks,” Jordan said.

Even with Jordan’s strong and positive attitude, she wasn’t always certain she’d be lining up for the STP this year.

“How chemo affected my body got a little tougher each time, so in the middle of treatment I was very nervous about how I would feel by the end,” said Jordan. “But after some ups and downs, I can proudly say there is currently no more sign of any cancer.  Here’s to being healthy and showing cancer who is boss!”

Bicycling played an important role in her recovery process, Jordan said, as it allowed her to stay active while not straining her body too much.

“It also allowed me to set goals for myself, even if it was something as simple as getting on the bike everyday in a week,” said Jordan. “I had to listen to my body and not push it too hard throughout chemo but I was on a bike as many days a week as I could.  Now that I've completed treatment, I've been able to go on more long rides, pushing myself harder each time.”

Jordan said that crossing the STP finish line will be a celebration of not just overcoming cancer but for “crushing it and showing it that it cannot stop me or slow me down for long.”

Jordan said that the last six months have been a journey that changed her forever and she’s excited to continue her journey of “meeting amazing people and jumping at the opportunity to participate in things I never thought I could.”

“You are stronger than you think you are,” said Jordan. “Never doubt that.”

Jordan will be riding with bib number 10400, be sure to give her a shout-out when you see her!

Who else is riding? Find more rider spotlights, here.