TRENTO, Italy — A Utah woman qualified for an upcoming world championship cycling competition — without even trying to do so.
It was the result of something she decided to do in order to show her support for a family member with a devastating cancer diagnosis.
"I decided this year that I would do a race every month," Dondea Sherer of Midvale told Fox affiliate KSTU. "The distance got larger every time."
Sherer said her brother-in-law got the tough news that he had sarcoma last year, so she wanted to do something to help raise funds and awareness in his honor through the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Cycling is something this yoga and spin instructor has done in the past, but not competitively in well over a decade since she took a nasty spill.
"I went out and just did my best, and I got an email saying I had qualified for nationals," she said. "And then a few days later, another email saying that I had qualified for the Worlds! You know, that wasn't my goal there. I was just out to do my best."
Sherer, who turns 55 at the end of this month, is set to leave for Italy Monday morning, where she will compete against other world-class athletes in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.
"Who would've thought at my age I'd be going to Worlds in Italy," she said. "This is beyond anything I'd ever imagine happening ever. It doesn't even seem real even though I'm leaving tomorrow!"
"All I can do is just do my best, 'cause that's all I ever do, and just see what happens," she added.
Sherer is raising money on a GoFundMe page to help pay for the trip's costs, something she never expected.