Ilana is a student at Johns Hopkins University where she is studying Neuroscience. 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 San Francisco. 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.
As soon as I learned about the 4K, I knew I wanted to do it. Even though the cross-country biking was what caught my attention most, I wouldn’t have been as interested if it weren’t a fight against cancer. The 4K isn’t just a biking trip; it’s a fundraiser with a meaning. The 4K represents endurance and support, which cancer patients are well familiar with. The ride will put their hardships into perspective for us riders, as our struggles will be only a fraction of theirs.
At first, my friends and family didn’t think I knew what I was getting myself into. They thought that I wouldn’t be able to do the biking, and that $4500 is an unrealistic fundraising goal. But as long as I keep a positive attitude and stay dedicated to fundraising and training, I can do it. I believe in myself, and besides, I’m always up for a challenge.
I dedicate this ride to my grandfather who died of colon cancer, to my uncle who died of pancreatic cancer, and to my friend Iliana Herrera who died of leukemia. I also dedicate this ride to Cara Hallahan, who has worked passionately to fundraise for the American Cancer Society in Iliana’s honor. Lastly, I dedicate this ride to my mom, who has given me unwavering support in everything I do.