Destrehan student rolling into parish on 4K-mile cycling trek to Alaska to fight cancer

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When Ryan Terrebonne of Destrehan rolls into St. Charles Parish on Monday, he will only have just begun a more than 4,000-mile bike ride from Austin, Texas, to Anchorage, Alaska, to raise money to fight cancer.

“From neighbors to family friends to teachers, I unfortunately know many people that have been affected by this horrible disease,” said Terrebonne. “I ride for the hope that all of these individuals affected by cancer can have a better tomorrow.”

Terrebonne’s mother, Mona, said they’re planning a gathering to welcome her son and fellow riders at 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Covenant Church, 1973 Ormond Blvd., Destrehan.

“We are so proud of Ryan and the entire team of Texas 4000 riders for their dedication, hard work and commitment in the fight against cancer,” said Mona Terrebonne, his mother.  “They have all given so much of themselves these past 18 months by training, volunteering, and fundraising. “Please be sure to give the riders a Cajun greeting and cheer if you happen to see them along Highway 90 or the east bank levee on Monday.  Most importantly, please keep all the riders in your prayers for a safe journey to Alaska.”

With the slogan, “Fighting Cancer Every Mile,” the University of Texas student will be among more than 70 students in the Texas 4000 18-month program that includes the ride. They are charged with raising $4,500, riding 1,500 training miles with a team, volunteering more than 50 hours in the community and playing an active role in planning every aspect of the ride to Alaska.

“This ride has already been so eye-opening,” Terrebonne said on the road. “We’re only a few days in and the generosity of our hosts and people we meet along the way is truly incredible.”

Terrebonne is a sophomore at UT, majoring in radio, television and film.

Students are chosen based on their “passion to fight cancer,” organizational involvement, communication skills and teamwork. Participants aren’t required to have cycling experience.

As a 70-day ride that travels three routes (Sierra, Rockies and Ozarks) from Austin to Anchorage, the summer ride is considered the longest annual charity bike ride in the world, according to the program.

Riders reunite in the last nine days of the ride in Canada and into Anchorage.

For Terrebonne, he is riding for his late grandfather, who died from colon cancer in 2001.

“I have so many memories with Papa that I will cherish forever,” he said. “He was all I could ask for and more. I will strive to be like him with my children and grandchildren. Every accomplishment I’ve had to date I just imagine how proud he would be of me. He keeps me going, and I really want to do this for him. He was a fighter, and he has given me hope when I’ve had none.”

Terrebonne, who also rides to be part of an incredible organization that inspires individuals around the world, said he hopes this ride can be a healing process for all of the people touched and broken by cancer.

Written by Anna Thibodeaux

See original article here.