Christopher is a freshman at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In the summer of 2012 he is riding with a group of college students on a 70 day, 4000+ mile bike ride from Baltimore to San Francisco.
What is your connection with the cancer community?
When I was in late middle school, a house went up for sale down the street from where I live. A family moved in and everything was normal. I have had neighbors move in and out before. We grew close to their family after going to church with them for several years. Ever since I had met her, I could tell something was different about her. She always smiled and she was always happy. When I found out she had breast cancer and only had around a year to live I was astonished. I wondered how someone who knew they were dying, and had to go through tiring cancer treatment, could smile so much and be so happy. We grew close through family bible studies and other church events. She would say that she is just so blessed to live every day, because every single day is a blessing from God. She lives like this: Whether I live one more day or 50 more years, I am going to be happy that I can have today. She is a major inspiration in my life and continues smiling to this day. If she can smile through the pain and hardships of cancer, why can't we in our everyday lives?
Why are you riding the 4K for Cancer?
The biking comes second to the first mission, to "unite communities across the country in the fight against cancer through community service and support." As soon as I heard of the opportunity to go across the country talking with cancer patients and doing service projects, I was hooked. In my life I have often done service projects that effect the people near me, and after doing that for long enough it distorted my vision. Truly thinking about going across the country to talk to cancer fighters opened my eyes to the sad reality that thousands and thousands of people across this whole world have to fight cancer. I believe that the power of words is one of the strongest powers. Speaking words of hope and encouragement with a smile on your face can change lives in my opinion. Reinforcing these words with acts of service only amplifies the effects of the words. Another powerful aspect of this mission is teamwork. I believe that with unity and passion, more can be done than what we can perceive at this current point in time. This journey will be difficult both physically and mentally, but the strains we endure are nothing compared to the strains of the battle cancer forces upon its victims. I am excited to experience the power that teamwork and passion will bring the cancer community.