Today is a big day for our family! We are gathering to welcome home my cousin, Casey, from a summer long journey. A journey that was both difficult and rewarding. A journey that has a personal connection to not only Casey, but our entire family.
I am in awe of my 21-year-old cousin’s strength, determination, hard-work and activism. While many 21-year-old’s spent their summer at the bar or sunbathing at the beach, Casey was cycling across the United States for the past 70 days. 4,000+ miles were traveled from Baltimore to Seattle to raise money with the organization 4k for Cancer. Casey and 27 other young adults began their journey in Baltimore on June 2nd and ended their trek in Seattle on August 10th.
After being touched by our Aunt’s breast cancer diagnosis last year, Casey decided to ride to honor our Aunt’s battle. Our Aunt, now a cancer survivor, will be there to greet her today!
It is an incredible experience and an extraordinary feat that was accomplished over the course of the summer. Each rider dedicated various legs to individuals who have been affected by cancer – both those they know personally and those they met along the route. Each rider wrote about their experience on this journey.
On day 12 of their journey, Casey wrote, “Yesterday was a roller-coaster of emotions. We had an extremely long day. 100 miles to Cleveland. Six or seven of those miles were on a dirt path that made it seem like 20 miles. My bike felt like it was sinking. My body was done when we hit 40 miles. I wanted to get hit by a car. But, instead of being a drama queen, I reminded myself of who I was riding for and how battling cancer has to be much harder than anything I was feeling at that moment. That’s the only reason why I made it to Cleveland.”.
The riders were rewarded for their hard work by seeing some of the most scenic attractions that this country has to offer. Route highlights included the Finger Lakes, Niagara Falls, Great Lakes, Cedar Point, the Corn Palace, The Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Yellowstone, Glacier, North Cascades National Parks and the San Juan Islands. The pictures are breath-taking!
The organization that organizes this ride is the non-profit, 4k for Cancer. 4k for Cancer is dedicated to enhancing lives by supporting, educating and connecting young adults and their loved ones who have been affected by cancer. They offer scholarships and help cancer survivors and their family regain a sense of normalcy.
The 4k for Cancer organization has been cycling across the country in the fight against cancer for 12 years. This is the 3rd year for the Baltimore to Seattle ride.
Casey, we are all so proud of you for this incredible undertaking. You have proven your strength, your determination and that hard work pays off. You are a testament to your parents (who missed you more than you know) and to our family. You are a role model for all of your cousins and even the new generation. I know that this is not the end of your adventures. You are going to do many great things!
Congratulations on accomplishing something that most of us only dream of doing!