Bilqis is a graduate student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work. In the summer of 2011 she is riding with a group of college students on a 70 day, 4000 mile bike ride from Baltimore to Portland. Money raised by our riders goes to support 4K for Cancer's mission of spreading awareness, fostering hope and uniting communities across the county in the fight against cancer. We do this through cancer education programs, health screenings and by visiting cancer patients at hospitals, cancer centers and hospices each day during the ride. 4K also gives financial support to local, cancer centric non-profits in the communities we bike through.
Over half a million Americans die every year from cancer, but there are more than 10 million cancer survivors around us, a number that continues to grow as new treatments are discovered.
I think a few things link all of us together as humans. We want to love and be loved, enjoy good health, have our essential needs met, dream and, hopefully, have the opportunity to fulfill those dreams. It makes me sad that a cancer diagnosis can deprive a person and their family of these fundamentals.
Through the experiences of my relatives and friends I have seen how cancer brings hardship, pain and loss to people of all ages and backgrounds. Despite how pervasive cancer is in the US, it can be an uncomfortable and difficult topic to broach. Community dinners, visits to cancer centers, and other volunteer activities along the 4K ride will give patients, other survivors, their family members, and those who support them the opportunity to be heard, as they talk about their experiences, memories and emotions.
In addition to those I will meet on the journey, I look forward to hearing the stories of my own family and friends. Please share with me how cancer has touched your life. I’m biking across the country with a group of fantastic young people to be able to have these conversations. I want to say, your struggles and victories are important! You motivate me and you deserve the best life possible. I’m not going to be the researcher who finds a revolutionary cancer treatment, but I will be a genuine, caring and enthusiastic supporter of those living with cancer and their families across the country during the ride and throughout my life. Please donate to support the ride. I am personally covering the 20% overhead, so that 100% of your contribution will go directly to the patients, families, cancer centers and communities we visit along the ride.