Spinner Spotlight: Amanda Kolwich

August 15, 2019

Let’s gather together today with a big cheer of “GOOD LUCK, AMANDA’S MOM!” 

One of our Spinners, Amanda Kolwich, has got a big day ahead: her mom is going in for “breast-saving” cancer surgery this morning. 

Amanda is both a Spinner and integral to the Spin For Life team. A long-time volunteer and employee for the Canadian Cancer Society, Amanda supports Spin For Life on a daily basis with all of her work. Let’s show some support back to her with messages of well-wishes for her mom and, if you’d like, you can donate to her Spin:


*Like with every donation through Spin For Life, every dollar goes directly to and stays with the Canadian Cancer Society because our sponsors pay all of the event costs.

Amanda is Spinning for four key people in her life: her Nana, her mom, her friend Megan, and to honour her own cancer scare.

Why Amanda is Spinning (in her own words):

As a long-time volunteer and employee of CCS, I have met far too many people with a cancer story. My story starts with my Nana, who in her life would have 4 different cancers (Cervical, Thyroid, Breast and losing her life to Colon cancer in October 2015). My best friend’s uterine cancer in her early 20s, my own cervical cancer scare in my early 20s. It seemed the only charity truly working to progress treatment and prevention for all these cancers was the Canadian Cancer Society, and that is how a 5-year volunteer gig turned into a 3-year job.  

This summer, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma) and they found cancer cells on her cervix. Sounds familiar? Two of the 4 cancers my Nana (my mom’s mom) had. Moms take care of their kids, so having the roles reversed has been a huge shock to my system. I’m now part of my Mom’s caregiver team (along with my Dad, Sister and family). I attend appointments, drive her to her surgeries and procedures and arm her with all the best CCS website links to learn more about her cancer journey. My Mom goes into “breast saving” surgery today (August 15th) and will start radiation treatment shortly after that in September. Her surgeons will attempt to save as much breast tissue as possible but ensure they have completely removed all cancerous tissues. 

My mom is lucky that she has a good prognosis and they caught it early enough to avoid more evasive procedures. However, knowing what research is out there, knowing that less invasive treatment options are on the horizon, it’s hard to know that my mom will have to go through the pain of surgery and radiation.  

Spin For Life matters to me because 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with Cancer in their lifetime. With my family history of cancer, it isn’t a matter of “if I will get cancer” it is a matter of “when I get cancer.” So when I hear the words “Amanda, you have cancer,” I want to make sure that I get the best treatment available. I’m lucky that Alberta is a leader in immunology research which is truly the future of cancer treatment. I’m asking all my donors to support the Alberta Cancer Research Fund because the incredible strides being made by scientists, doctors and students in my own backyard. I’m getting on my spin bike not only for all the people I love that are living with cancer or have it as a memory and for all of those I’ve lost to cancer but also change the story for everyone who will be diagnosed with cancer.

–Amanda Kolwich  


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Spin For Life values inclusion and removing barriers to entry for participation; any skill level, beginner to pro, is encouraged to join. There’s no need for any special equipment or gear – alongside 180 spin bikes, Spin For Life is equipped with low-impact floor and arm pedal machines. Spinners are in a controlled indoor environment where the risk is low, medical support is always close-at-hand, and the weather won’t affect the experience. Our participants’ physical and fundraising commitments are also designed to be manageable challenges: one hour of sweat with a minimum $1,000 raised for charity.


Thanks to our growing list of like-minded sponsors and patrons, 100% of donations stay with the Canadian Cancer Society. With each event, Spin For Life aims to raise a minimum of $1.44 million with new host cities being added every year for a ten year goal of $180 million. Tax receiptable donations can be allocated to any of three categories: Clinical Trials, Wheels of Hope, or the Alberta Cancer Research Fund (which was specially created to be funded by Spin For Life). Even in our first year, we are aiming to break the World Record for most money raised with a static cycling event.


Over the course of eight hours, our Spinners will collectively ride the circumference of the world: 40,075 km. Each hour is themed around distinct global landscapes with LED screens, theatre lighting, and mapped projections transporting participants through a beautiful, challenging, and cathartic experience. Emcees and Instructors will lead the music-filled Spin Hours, introducing stories of cancer heroes, researchers, clinicians, and remembrances of those we have lost. All culminating in a world record ceremony and on-site after party when we finish spinning around the globe!