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Flatbike and the “sisterhood”

In college, my daughter enjoyed sparring with her econ professor about basic assumptions. Why is it a mandate to maximize profits? Shouldn’t businesses have a higher calling in the context of the communities and environments in which they operate?

Maybe the true calling of a well-run business is to make things better because you were there. It’s why small-town shops rally together to sponsor the local little league, and venerable large companies have endowed public-benefit foundations in their own names. Community matters.

This is why Flatbike spent a day surrounded by standup paddle boarders a couple of weekends ago.

Standup For The Cure is an organization focused squarely on fundraising for breast cancer early detection and research, through standup paddle boarding events in multiple cities. It’s partly a race, partly reverent respect for the “sisterhood” of women who have survived the disease, and part zany fun–like the winner having to dig in the sand for a nut necklace before crossing the finish line.

The Sisterhood of cancer survivors. When a close friend doesn’t get this far, it gets personal.


Breast cancer gets personal


Years ago, when a close friend and healthy outdoor enthusiast with two young girls was diagnosed at Stage IV at 36 years old, it shook me to the core. She had probably been undiagnosed for years. I learned all I could about this ravaging disease, and she got the best care available at the time, but it wasn’t enough, and she passed away 11 months later.

Today, there is a huge focus on early detection and treatment, with funds from this event paying for more than 12,000 early screenings–any one of which would have saved my friend’s life.

Would Flatbike like to participate? In a heartbeat…with a demo tent, donated folding commuter bike for the silent auction…even a paddleboarder fundraising team, although nobody here paddle boards (yet).

Through a continuous flow of research dollars, we also know more about the challenge ahead of us. There are likely 26 different types of breast cancer, all with custom treatment needs. And those genetic markers in the news–BRCA1 and BRCA2–represent just 2% of the likely 36 different genetic markers out there for breast cancer.


This is something that won’t be solved anytime soon. But fun, outdoor-focused events that push for results over time? That’s a good business strategy that we can support.

No winning until you dig up your kukui nuts!

Many thanks to Steve Wormeli of Raymond James for supporting us to make the Flatbike team the top fundraiser at the Seattle event.

Is this an issue that’s close to your heart too? Donations of any size are always helpful!


Bob Forgrave's Signature

Bob Forgrave is president of Flatbike, an
ecommerce company offering full-size folding bikes
and kits to make any bike take up half the space.




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