Woman hit by cow talks about the race and the cause

FRESNO, Calif.

She's battered and bruised, but okay. Melanie Spigelmyre is training for a cross-country cycling race. Her crash was caught on camera by a team photographer.

Moments before the impact, Spigelmyre knew the cow was heading toward her, but she had nowhere to go.

"I couldn't really believe it happened," said Melanie Spigelmyre.

But the pictures prove it did happen.

"I'm just surprised I'm not worse."

A 10 person cycling team was riding in the foothills near Trimmer Springs Road in Eastern Fresno County Saturday. Just 10 minutes into the ride, they came upon this herd of free-range cattle.

"As soon as I come around the corner, he just barrels and t-bones me. Sends me about 30 feet down the hill."

The racing team called 911, and a helicopter eventually flew Spigelmyre to the hospital.

Just one day after the accident, her arm is in a sling with bruising down to the bone. The bike she calls the Orbea Princess now has a splintered frame. And her helmet is cracked and dented.

"It's something I'll never forget."

Photographer Jim Hawe and his daughter Melanie Hawe are the reason these amazing and rare photos exist.

"It was a scary thing," said Jim Hawe, "It was quite an experience for most of us."

The experience, Spigelmyre says, is for a good cause. "The training is for our RAAM team, to raise awareness of organ donor transplantation in memory of Crystel Stanford."

Crystel Stanford, a 29-year-old avid cyclist from Chowchilla, died when she crashed her bike during the California Classic race last May. Stanford's family donated her organs -- impacting the lives of at least 8 people.

And for that, Spigelmyre's bumps and bruises from Saturday's run in are worth it. "It's just a great thing, and I couldn't be happier to be part of this."

Spigelmyre's team, named "Team Donate Life," is working to raise a $100,000 for what they call "Crystel's Gift."

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