Michele and Emme
Rally recently caught up with the energetic Emme Hall, a semi-professional race car driver for Team Courage Gazelles, who is using Rally to raise $5,000 towards a $15,000 goal. Her dream? To race 9 days across the Moroccan desert in the 2013 Rallye Aicha des Gazelles with her good friend and cancer previvor Michele Martineau.
All participants in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles use only 1950s navigation methods. That means Emme and Michele will drive a 4-wheel drive truck over a sandy moonscape with an old school map and a compass — no GPS, no phones, no extra crew. There are also no roads on this course; the winner is determined by the shortest distance covered. Only 8 other women in the US have attempted the Rallye Aicha since it started 20 years ago.
Emme and Michele planned to race a year ago but Michele was told she had an abnormally high chance of developing breast cancer. Rather than live a life of endless MRI’s and “what ifs” she elected to have a preventative double mastectomy, becoming a cancer “previvor.” Michele experienced complications from the surgery and they postponed the race for a year. Over this time, their friendship deepened. Michele wrote and video blogged about her experience on Courage is My Strength. Emme became more determined; “as I’ve gotten to know Michele, it’s become more of a cause for me.”
A view of the race course from 2011 Rallye Aicha des Gazelles.
It is a year later and they are organizing early. Emme chose to fundraise with Rally because other platforms had too many rules and restrictions. She also liked the play on names since they were, in fact, going to be in a “Rallye.” Now Emme’s Rally Page tells the story of preparing for this adventure and the story of cancer survivors and previvors who are supporting them. After all race costs are met, Emme and Michele will donate the remainder to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Emme added, “the truck will have a wrap designed by one of the animators from Avatar. The theme will be butterflies and they will be tributes to breast cancer previvors, survivors, fighters, and angels!”
When asked why she likes racing, Emme at first mentioned the excitement and rush of mastering the vehicle during each race. Later, she reflected, “where there is fear the whole time, you take thoughtful risks, not foolish risks.”
Michele and Emme
We invite you to help Emme and Michele realize their dream to race in Morocco next year and to honor all women who fight through fear and take risks.
What do you Rally for?