Mitchell William Parrish
Mitchell William Parrish is a sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park. In the summer of 2014 he is traveling with a group of college-aged students on a 70 Day, 4000+ mile bike ride from Baltimore to Portland.
What is your connection to the Cancer Community?
My connection with the cancer community is different from most others. My favorite teacher in high school (Mount Saint Joseph), was Brother James Kelly CFX. Brother James died of prostate cancer, on December 3, 2011. Up until about a month before he passed, he still taught his Honors British Literature class. The only time he wasn’t in class, were days he had chemotherapy. Even those days though, he “Skype’d” our class from his bedside, alive and as motivated as ever. Brother had a commanding presence even in his weakened state, telling us over Skype to sit-up in class. He described his teaching style as, “I stand up here and bombard you with knowledge, and you just try to absorb as much as you can.” Brother was a dear mentor and friend to me. As well as Brother, there were two other teachers at Saint Joe that have recently passed of cancer: Mrs. Jo-Anne Morgan (April 8, 2013)-my Honors American Literature teacher from sophomore year, and Ms. Judy Kraft-a beloved student advisor to many of my friends. I just want to do whatever I can to fight back against cancer in their memory.
Why are you traveling over 4000 miles this summer with the 4K?
Riding on the 4k would give me the chance to fight cancer and raise awareness. The 4k also presents the rare opportunity of seeing the entirety of the country from personal perspective. The unique combination of a riding through the country and fighting cancer is the reason I want to do the 4k.