Erika Oertle is a junior at Towson University. In the summer of 2014 she is riding with a group fo college students on a 70 day, 4000 mile bike ride from Baltimore to San Diego.
What is you connection to the cancer community?
Cancer has affected so many important people in my life including myself. Being a survivor, I've personally dealt with the disease as well as witnessed family members overcome and unfortunately pass away from it. Cancer is not something to be feared, however it is something to fight for. Whether we fight alone or we fight together, we fight for one reason and that is to never give up. Some see a hopeless end, where as others see an endless hope, however, it is important to realize that in some way and somehow we are all connected to cancer. If there is one thing that I wish for, it is to see young children overcome their fight with cancer and grow up to experience amazing things just like this.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the 4k?
For the most part, I want to prove to people that ANYTHING is possible. That life is something worth fighting for. More often than not, we allow our lives to take over and push aside the things we so desperately long for. Ever since my diagnosis, this has always been something that I've wanted to accomplish. I've learned that if it is possible to overcome cancer, then it is possible to bike over 4,000 miles across the country. I want to be able to share my story with 4K riders as well as others and inspire them to never lose hope. When I heard about the 4K, I knew that I would fit right in. Given the ability to bike across the country under the name of young children fighting against cancer, I saw this as an opportunity I could not turn down. Being a survivor doesn't make me any different from the rest of you. If one of us can overcome and accomplish something, then together, as one team, we can all work together to say we've biked 4,000 miles across the United States.
I am beyond excited for the experience and I can not wait to ride coast to coast for 70 days with a group of incredible, inspirational, and amazing people, all for one cause.