Nicholas is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. In the summer of 2011 he 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.
“Have you found an oncologist yet?” the surgeon asked me as he removed the staples from my neck post a biopsy on a lymph node. “Oncologist?” I thought to myself. “Shit. I’m not sure what that is but it can’t be good.” “No, you never called me to tell me the results of the biopsy,” I responded angrily to the surgeon. “Oh, I’m sorry,” he said, and after what seemed like an eternity he finished, “well… you have Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
There I was, a senior at Johns Hopkins University, with plans to backpack through Europe after graduation and start a job in New York City in the fall. And just like that, everything changed. Six months of chemotherapy followed and in that time I developed an entirely new outlook on life. I became part of a community that I never thought I would be a part of at age 21. I was pricked, prodded, tested, and scanned (and I was already terrified of going to the doctor's); but with the help of my family, friends, doctor, nurses, other cancer patients/survivors and a whole lot of hope and positive thinking I’m happy to report that I was given a clean bill of health in October of 2009. However, I was one of the lucky ones. I had an extremely supportive family who could afford my treatment and a world-class cancer center just a few miles from my house. Not everyone is so lucky, and this is where the 4K comes in. Through this organization cancer patients who otherwise would have no visitors that day get a visit from 30 smiling young adults, a person who has to drive for hours to the nearest cancer center will get the financial support he needs, and a patient who is having one of those days where he doesn’t feel like he can go on will once again find the inspiration and strength to keep fighting.
I’ve wanted to do the 4K ever since I first heard about it as a freshman. Both my Grandpop and Aunt fell victim to the disease before I was born and I wanted to ride in their memory. A few of my friends have gone on the trip and I would look at the website or through their pictures and become overwhelmed with emotion every time. When I started chemotherapy I made a promise to myself that if I got better, I would do the 4K. How could I not? I could not pass up the opportunity to share my story, help others, foster hope, give back to the community that helped me get through my own fight with cancer, and do my part to rid the world of this terrible disease. Now I finally have that opportunity and I could not be more excited. This summer I'll be riding for myself, my Grandpop, my Aunt, and all of the people I have met or will meet who have been affected by this disease.
Thank you so much for your support. Please feel free to send me any pictures or stories of your loved ones who fought or are fighting their own battles with cancer. I’m going to need all the inspiration I can get.