Kevin is a sophmore at the University of Maryland, College Park. 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 Seattle.
What is your connection with the cancer community?
I wish I could say that I have never had anyone close to me who has suffered from cancer, but unfortunately that is not the case. My Grandmother, Lorraine Barnes, was diagnosed with severe lung cancer in the later years of her life. She was such an inspiration to me. Every doctor appointment she was told that she didn’t have much time to live. My grandmother did not care what the doctors said, she wanted to live and she was determined to fight as long as she could. She fought the battle for three years when she was expected to only live a few months after she was diagnosed. On April 13, 2008 cancer took the life of my grandmother. I also have two close friends, Keeley and Zach, who have been diagnosed with brain cancer. Zach beat the cancer and had been cancer free for 6 years. Recently, Zach has been diagnosed with another brain tumor. He underwent surgery yesterday and came out as strong as ever. Keeley has been battling brain cancer for 4 years and has managed to remain positive the entire time. They are two of the strongest people I know and are an inspiration to everyone around them. What ever I can do to help them and other cancer victims, I will do.
Why are you riding the 4K for Cancer?
My friend Raymond told me how he was biking with the 4K group across the country to raise money for the fight against cancer. I thought how inspirational that would be to bike across the entire nation, completing something that very few people have the heart to do, and in addition raise money for one of the best causes ever. Cancer has affected ones very close to me and I want to do everything I can to help support the fight against cancer. The money I will raise for the 4,000 mile bike ride will be donated to organizations that are working very hard to battle cancer and find a cure. If people every day are able to fight cancer and beat cancer, then I feel confident that I can accomplish a 70 day bike ride. The inspiration from my grandmother and my friends who are suffering from cancer will get me through this experience of a lifetime.