After facing death, bicyclist has her eye on the finish line

EVERETT, Wash. - A Snohomish County woman barely survived being hit five years ago by an underage drunk driver.

Now Kathi Sturgeon is gearing up for the ride of a lifetime - after her life was nearly cut short.

As the driver went to jail, Kathi went to work.

"I want to cross the finish line so badly," she says. "But at the same time I want to have fun. ... I'm excited that these past years are coming full circle."

For every athlete there is a personal goal - a personal struggle that only the athlete fully comprehends.

For former pastor Kathi Sturgeon it was almost just a half circle.

"I was not expected to survive," she says. "I had been resuscitated two or three times, and doctors were not optimistic for me to survive. And if I did survive they weren't sure how I was going to be able to function."

Five years ago while living in California, Kathi Sturgeon was training for the Seattle-to-Portland Bicycle Classic - and was hit by an underage drunk driver at 10 in the morning.

Kathi not only had part of her skull removed while she recovered - she almost had her leg amputated.

"I was in a coma for a week and then in ICU for three weeks," she says. "I don't remember anything from the crash. In fact I have amnesia for two months prior."

But miracles are often defined by the people who make them happen. This weekend Kathi will ride in the very Seattle-to-Portland ride destiny seemed determined to deny. It took years of physical therapy - learning to talk, walk, eat and ride again.

"Attitude is everything, and she has got the attitude. So she just keeps persevering and pressing on every day, and she's meeting this dream that she set five years ago," says physical therapist Grace Ellison.

It's a dream that tread its way into a cycle of reality.

"Just to know when someone has been so badly injured and taken down from the level that they have known and to rise back from that - it's a wonderful story of hope," says Ellison.

Two hundred miles in two days - cross the finish line ... and inspire.

"I would one day like to really say, 'How can I help?' What has been possible for me may be possible for someone else," Kathi says.

She's not saying it - Kathi is proving it by showing it - a true inspiration for all those who've helped get to this weekend's ride.