Friends gathered to celebrate the life of an Amherst woman killed by an apparent drunk driver along the Tonawanda Creek Bike Path last Sunday. YNN's Meg Rossman has more on a memorial walk in Sheila Pelton's honor.
AMHERST, N.Y. --- "She loved this bike path,” Nancy Hails said. “She loved it."
Which is why the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Executive Director and hundreds of others gathered at the Ellicott Creek Trailway Saturday morning to honor an avid runner, cancer survivor and friend.
"After Sheila passed last Sunday there was really an outpouring of people that really were mourning her not being here," Pat LaDuca said.
According to friends, most days you could find 81-year-old Sheila Pelton out along the path training for a marathon or mentoring members of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, the very group that helped her run her first marathon at 72 --- after her own battle with cancer.
"I think it was an insurance plan and it was a way, it became a social life,” Hails said. “The extended team in training family was an extended family for her."
A family now reeling, after she and 25-year-old Jocelyn Elberson were struck and killed by a motorcyclist while walking the Tonawanda Creek Bike Path last Sunday.
"It's so ironic that two people, two special individuals who fought so hard for life were taken from us in such a meaningless way," she said.
And Saturday over a cup of tea, friends gathered to find a meaning in all of it, already planning to donate a bench and run a half-marathon next year in her honor.
"The fact that she lost her life this way is senseless," LaDuca, Sheila’s friend and personal trainer said. "She's the most uplifting, positive woman you could ask for. Everybody loved her, obviously, you can see that today."
For more information on how you can help or participate in Team Sheila call the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at 716.834.2578 or send a donation to:
4043 Maple Road, Suite 105
Amherst, N.Y. 14226