Raise Money, Awareness
The second annual Hopkins 4K for Cancer
aims to raise $50K for cancer research
For the second year in a row, 25 student cyclists participating in Hopkins 4K for Cancer will put the pedal to their mettle, bicycling from Baltimore to San Francisco in an attempt to raise $50,000 for cancer research and to promote a healthy lifestyle as a way to prevent the onset of the disease.
Along the 4,000-mile route, 20 students from Johns Hopkins and five of their friends from other colleges will stop in several big cities and small towns to spread their message by volunteering their youthful energy to local community groups, nursing homes and churches. While offering a helping hand to these groups and making presentations about cancer prevention, students will be honoring their friends and loved ones affected by the disease.
The rubber will meet the road at 9 a.m. on Sunday, June 1, as the riders depart from the university's Homewood campus, 3400 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. From Homewood, the students will ride to the Inner Harbor to dip their bikes' back tires in the water. When they reach San Francisco, the front tires will be dipped in the bay.
The ticket to ride is $3,000, which each of the students raised by soliciting donations. The money will be used to sustain the students throughout the trip, but will primarily be put toward their goal of giving $50,000 to the American Cancer Society. The group met its $50,000 goal last year and gave the money to the American Cancer Society.
Major support for the Hopkins 4K for Cancer is also coming from the Ann E. McEnroe Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at the Institute for Science and Health, a St. Louis-based public charity. The fund is providing the riders with state-of-the-art apparel as well as logistical support, thanks to a strategic-alliance with the Edward Jones Co. To publicize the riders' arrival in St. Louis, the mid-point of their journey as well as the Gateway to the West, the fund will sponsor and host an outdoor health fair at Kiener Plaza in downtown St. Louis on June 17.
The fair will help to inform the public about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of cancer, and focus special attention on pancreatic cancer, which takes the lives of more than 30,000 Americans each year. According to many in the medical field, pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal and yet under-funded and therefore under-researched forms of cancer. Francis Slay, mayor of St. Louis, is welcoming the riders by proclaiming June 17 Ann E. McEnroe Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day. During the event, funds will be raised specifically for pancreatic cancer research through the Institute for Science and Health.
Besides educating people in towns along the way and paying tribute to loved ones lost to cancer, the Hopkins 4K for Cancer is also offering the students a chance to be tourists in their country with a view over their handlebars rather than through an airplane window. Here's what some of the riders have to say about their participation:
Joshua Robinson, 17, of Potomac, Md., will be a freshman at Johns Hopkins in the fall. "This is one of the things that I must do before I can say that I've truly lived my life. It's going to be an unforgettable adventure. By taking this extraordinary journey, we may help cancer patients live to enjoy the ordinary, everyday experiences that we take for granted."
Travis Snow, 19, of New Hartford, Conn. "I will be dedicating my ride this year to my mother, Gayle Snow, who recently found out she had breast cancer and is currently undergoing treatment including chemotherapy. If there is a bright side to the story it is that her prognosis is very good because she caught it early, thanks to a self test kit she received from the American Cancer Society. I'm so glad that I can honor my mom by doing the Hopkins 4K this summer."
Babak Nazer, 21, of Bellevue, Wash. He'll attend Harvard Medical School in the fall. "As an aspiring physician, I hope to do all I can to ease the burden for patients, and the rest of their families, all of whom are affected by the disease. However, only research can lead to a definitive cure. Hopefully, the money raised by Hopkins 4K and other programs that join us in the fight against cancer can help provide the valuable research funding which will lead to a cure."
Rajeev Mahajan, 22, of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "I participated in the first annual Hopkins 4K for Cancer in the summer of 2002. When a woman approached us in Rocky Mountain National Park, I realized that the trip was about more than the amount of money we raised. She told us that her sister had cancer and that she was touched that we felt strongly enough about our cause to pedal across the country. Then, with tears in her eyes, she made a donation and gave us hugs. I suddenly knew that even though we were not promising a miracle, we were giving people hope that they might not have to deal with cancer in the future."
To arrange an interview with the Hopkins 4K for Cancer riders before they leave on June 1 or throughout the summer, contact Amy Cowles at 410-516-7160. More information is available online at www.hopkins4k.org. For more information about the Ann E. McEnroe Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, visit http://www.ifsh.org/AnnMFund.asp. The American Cancer Society may also be found online at www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp.
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