Wheel to Live

By Robert C. Jones, Jr.

Wheel to Live

By Robert C. Jones, Jr.
Inspired by her mother, CC Schieffelin gears up against cancer.

Celia “CC” Schieffelin never describes her mother, Barbara Burg, as having succumbed to cancer but as a courageous woman who conquered her illness by taking action. “She encouraged everyone to rise to the occasion, to join the fight against a dreadful disease,” recalls the rising junior finance and management major.

It was her mother’s indomitable spirit that carried Schieffelin, sore ankle and all, across 26 miles of roadway in February to complete one of a series of rides for the annual Dolphins Cancer Challenge, a two-day charity event that raises funds for Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s lifesaving research initiatives.

Through the DCC I’ve learned that any effort, no matter how big or small, can transform into a life-changing difference for someone else.

CC SchieffelinBut Schieffelin, 19, who tore two ligaments in her left ankle during the fall semester and was unsure she’d even be able to participate in the event, didn’t complete the marathon-length trek to focus attention on herself or her mom. “It’s always been about the cause,” she says.

It was her second DCC. In November 2013, five months before her mother died at age 50 from complications of colorectal cancer, Schieffelin cycled 13 miles from the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, raising more than $40,000 as a member of Team Sylvester.

For DCC V, held February 7-8, she organized her own team, rallying 34 family members and close friends—some of whom came from as far away as New York and California—to ride in the event. By the time Team Barb hit the streets wearing hot pink jerseys, they had raised $128,000.

Having crossed the finish line with her dad this year, Schieffelin says she intends to ride in the DCC as long as she is a UM student—and perhaps well after. “It’s taught me a lot about leadership and about appreciating small things,” she says. “Most importantly,  it has given me the platform to make a change for a cause that made me constantly feel so helpless. Through the DCC I’ve learned that any effort, no matter how big or small, can transform into a life-changing difference for someone else.”

Schieffelin, a New Yorker, credits UM with giving her the chance to take part in the DCC and many other activities. “I like to say that Miami chose me,” she explains. “Never in a million years did I see myself going here. Upon receiving all of my college acceptances, I visited UM as a last-minute consideration and immediately fell in love with it. UM has everything I wanted—from small class sizes, to big-time sports, to tons of opportunities to get involved and learn all sorts of new things. I love this school.”