East Bay News

Man training for cancer fundraiser has bike stolen

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Castro Valley man trying to do a good deed suffered a major setback when his bike was stolen while he was training for a bicycle event to raise money for cancer research. But, he is not going to give up on his charitable mission.

This past weekend, Dennis Cassalia of Castro Valley participated in a Relay for Life walkathon in San Leandro. His team raised thousands of dollars for cancer victims.

Next, he was getting ready to train for a second fundraiser, the Livestrong event in Davis.

"I came back and I leaned the bike against the car went inside to get a drink of water and used the rest room and changed my clothes when I came back out, the bike was missing," Cassalia said.

His goal was to ride 45 miles in honor of his friend, 24-year-old Nick Botelho, who is undergoing chemotherapy.

"He's a remarkable young man, he, throughout the whole thing, he is the one fighting cancer and he worries about everybody else more than himself," Cassalia said.

Cassalia knows the chances of recovering his bike are slim.

"It's not a high crime area, but unfortunately there are certain people in areas who will steal things when people aren't looking," Alameda County Sheriff's Department spokesperson Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.

Cassalia's wife suggested putting up posters. Instead, they put up a sign outside their house. It reads, "To the person that rode off on my bicycle on Monday, May 23, I was training to do a ride with Livestrong that benefits cancer patients. Do you know what karma is?"

Livestrong is the organization founded by Lance Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour de France who also battled cancer.

Cassalia says, at this point, there is no giving up.

"I guess I am going to try to borrow a bike do something I got to do the ride, it's just something I got to do," said.

Cassalia has already had several offers from people willing to donate a bike.

If you like to help Dennis get another bike, email him at denniscassalia@ATT.net.

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Tags:
crime, bikes, castro valley, cancer, fundraiser, east bay news, lyanne melendez
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