Sohum is a senior at the George Washington University. 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 Portland.
What is your connection with the cancer community?
Just like everyone else, I was exposed to the realities of cancer at an early age. Before attending college, I had family and family friends who were diagnosed with cancer. I was able to see what that did to them and their lives even if they managed to overcome it. Recently though, the point was really driven home to me. I'm a Senior this year so I'll graduate in May and so will a friend of mine. For our friendship graduating means we'll go our separate ways and probably not see too much of each other -- our goals require that of us. We always (optimistically) considered that over the years we would meet up each time in a different exotic sun-kissed location and vacation together. We fantasized about how awesome that was going to be. There is a chance it won't happen though. My friend was recently diagnosed with cancer and will begin to undergo treatment directly after school ends. If it is successful I'll see him again some time. If it isn't then I won't. He's just one of the people I'll be riding for.
Why are you riding the 4K for Cancer?
The magnitude of 4K for Cancer appeals to me. I have participated in many one day walks, runs, and fundraisers over the years and while I believe they were helpful, I personally didn't feel that I was making much of a difference. The 4K is different as I will be challenging myself each day for an entire summer. The second reason for me is just that I've always wanted to get across America on my own man-power. Maybe it is a leftover feeling from reading Johnny Appleseed as a kid. The exploration and sight-seeing aspect is very appealing to me. And finally, the overall reason for probably all of the 4K riders: this ride is a method for us to fight the feeling of helpless we have. As humans we make mistakes and poor decisions but we always try to be there for the people closest to us, when they need us. Cancer doesn't really allow for this. I know I will not be directly helping any one of my friends or family but in the long-run, over the rest of my life, these rides will make a difference.