Crystel Stanford remembered during Eye-Q California Classic

FRESNO, Calif.

Some cyclists will ride with heavy hearts. The loss of 29-year-old Crystel Stanford last year is too painful to forget.

"Crystel Stanford was a young girl who died last year in the event but she also saved 8 lives or impacted 8 lives through the gift of organ donation," said local cyclist Melanie Spigel.

Melanie Spigelmyre and seven other local cyclists will honor Crystel Stanford during the Eye-Q California Classic and a ride across America in June.

The "Team Donate Life" group is raising money for "Crystel's Gift." "Our goal is to raise 100-thousand dollars for the organization in honor of Crystel."

A year ago, Valley cyclists organized a 30-mile memorial ride for Crystel Stanford. Over 300 people showed up. Most of them who took part didn't even know Crystel.

The family was clearly touched by the outpouring of support. "I'm glad that my daughter was part of this world, part of this group. She was as fantastic as these people here. Every one of them is fantastic," said Crystel's father Larry Stanford.

Crystel's family will be on the minds of many during the California Classic weekend.

"I think more so we want to respect her parents and her sister who is going to compete in the marathon the next day. Just knowing the year date anniversary is difficult for them so just kind of knowing that we're here for them."

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.