USA Cycling paid tribute on its website this week to multiple-time track champion Michelle Bono, who passed away on February 23, 2010, at age 47 following a two-and-a-half-year fight against pancreatic cancer.
Bono, a Hawaii native, claimed numerous national titles in her brief track cycling career. Coming into the sport in 2005, she took her first podium finishes that year in the sprint, 500m time trial and individual pursuit. The following year, she won the 200m, 500m and sprint masters titles and went on to compete in the elite national championships and place third in the keirin.
In 2007, Bono was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and underwent chemotherapy at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Just over a year later, she had fought her way back to health and claimed another sprint title in the 2008 Masters National Track Championships.
During her battle with cancer, Bono was assisted by the Aishel House during her stay in Houston, a service that provides housing, meals and transportation for patients of the Texas Medical Center. Her friends and teammates are hoping to raise US$6,000 to support the facility in Bono's memory.