Zach is a student in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Florida. 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.
I was 13 when I was first familiarized with the term "Cancer." My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and given only 3 months to live. She battled and defied her doctors for 3 years before passing away in 2003. Her will-power inspired me to join the 4K in 2009.
The 4K is an extraordinarily unique opportunity to impact the lives of others. We talk to people from all walks of life, listen to their stories, and give presentations on cancer awareness. In 2009, my group walked into a gas station near Topeka, Kansas for an impromptu water stop. The cashier was a 5-year Breast Cancer survivor and her inspirational story of survival provided the motivation my group needed to finish out the 100+ mile day.
Some people say our country is hopelessly divided. I've found the opposite to be true. Our food, lodging, bikes and almost everything else we need is donated. It takes thousands of people generously donating their time and resources for the 4K to be successful. I'm amazed and grateful at the generosity of others.
I've learned that just because something seems insurmountable that doesn't mean it's impossible. The 4K is an opportunity for all of us to come together for a common cause. No matter how large or small you think your part may be, it all makes a difference.
This summer I'm riding in honor of my grandmother, my teammates (past and present), and all of the amazing people I met in 2009.