Ramapo student Brianne Bishop is trekking on her bike across America this summer along with 90 other college-aged people to offer help and support to other young adults that have been affected by cancer.
“It’s in order to raise money and offer support and awareness to communities that have been affected by cancer- mostly young adults who have been affected by cancer,” said Bishop, a junior at Ramapo.
Bishop will be biking from Baltimore, Md. to San Francisco, Calif. as a part of 4K for Cancer, a program run by Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults (UCF), a non-profit organization focused on connecting and supporting young adults who have been affected by cancer.
“It was kind of a spontaneous thing. I was just thinking I’m so young and I’m able to do it physically so why not? It’s a once in a lifetime experience. How many people can say they biked across America? And the best part is that it’s to raise money for cancer.”
This adventure is all a result of scrolling through Instagram.
“It’s funny because last summer one of my old camp friends posted an Instagram about her brother doing it, and I researched the organization and I was just like, wow, I really want to do this,” Bishop said.
The journey will start on June 1 and the bikers will return home on Aug. 8. Bishop’s team of 30 people will bike about 60 miles a day in order to complete the trip. However, in between there will be off days, where they can do any activity of their choosing, and rest days during which they will give support to people and communities affected by cancer.
“We’re going to be visiting young adults who have been affected by cancer and then we’re going to be giving them scholarships to allow them to go to college,” Bishop said.
Along the way, riders will be accompanied by vans that will hold their belongings, extra bikes and someone who can offer first aid if need be. Participants will stay at churches, YMCAs and even the homes of people along the way who know about the organization and support it.
Each 4K for Cancer rider needs to raise a minimum of $4,500 to participate, and most of this money, 84 cents of every dollar to be exact, goes towards mission programs, including the ones they are participating in on their rest days. UCF gives a breakdown of exactly where the donations go; the causes include $1,000 for gas cards to help 40 patients attend treatment and $2,500 to pay for a scholarship to send a young adult facing cancer to college.
Bishop is in the process of raising this money, and is reaching out to the Ramapo community to do it.
“I’m an RA so I’m putting on events,” said Bishop. “I want to contact Colleges Against Cancer, Relay for Life and Ramathon.”
Along with fundraising preparation, Bishop is personally preparing for some of the challenges the trip will present.
“My mentor was telling me about how in Colorado there is a 22 mile climb up trail ridge road. It takes a little bit over three hours,” said Bishop. “I Googled pictures and it’s a very slow incline all the way up the mountain, but she said once you get up there it’s such an adrenaline rush and it’s so beautiful, but that’s probably what I’m most nervous about.”
However, along with that nervousness is a lot of excitement.
“I’m really excited about traveling around and getting to meet other people who have the same interest as me,” Bishop said. “We’re all here because we’ve known somebody who has been affected by cancer and we want to offer our support.”
To learn more about Brianne Bishop's plans, visit her page on the 4K for Cancer site.