Jane is a senior at Middlebury College where she is studying Geography. 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.
It’s crazy! I first told myself when I looked into the 4k for Cancer trip. 4,000 miles. $4,500. I can’t do that. Yet as I thought about the trip over the next few weeks—traveling through parts of the country I have never and may never get the chance to see by bike, linking up with fellow students equally passionate about making sure every life is cherished and honored, and meeting individuals facing challenges I can not even image facing everyday—I realized crazy was not the right word. Keep the “a,” the “z” and change it to amazing. Or only keep that “a” and make it meaningful.
I have grown up with the feeling that cancer was all around me. In sixth grade, my grandfather died of lung cancer. My mom traveled back and forth to visit him in New York, stayed by his bedside when he decided he wanted to leave the hospital and return home. While I did not witness my grandfather’s final struggle with cancer, I experienced the pain through my mom, watching her lose her father. That same year, a classmate of mine died from leukemia. It was then that I was faced with the devastating reality that cancer is indiscriminate, taking the lives of children far before their time.
While I have not worked directly with the cancer community, I have done a fair amount of volunteer and advocacy work in the past related to environmental issues, poverty, housing, and community development. The driving force behind my volunteer work is my genuine belief that we are all connected to one another and to the world that we inhabit.
This belief is what attracts me to participate in the 4K, to take my isolated experiences with cancer, build upon them by hearing the stories of individuals across the country, and become an active advocate for the cancer community. I hope you can support me in that endeavor. Thank you so incredibly much.