Texas 4000 charity ride rolls through basin

576f0c037ad80.image 576f0d0b07e4c.image 576f00fea94b9.image 576f03079abd4.image 576f0162588b9.image

Students from The University of Texas at Austin bicycled from Craig, Colorado, to Dinosaur National Monument on June 22 as part of a 4,000-mile charity ride raising funds for cancer research and the support of cancer patients. The group rode from Dinosaur, Colorado, to Duchesne, Utah, the following day.

The ride began on June 3 in Cedar Park, Texas, near Austin and will end in Anchorage, Alaska, on Aug. 12.

This year’s 67 participants raised nearly $500,000 and spent more than a year before the ride building leadership skills, volunteering in the community and training for the arduous physical undertaking of cycling across a continent.

“The way we fight cancer is through our bike ride,” said 2016 Rockies route director Andrew Coulter. “The cycling is a huge part of it, but even more than all of that is the actual fundraising aspect,” he said.

Coulter explained that riders raised money for more than a year leading up to the ride. Each rider was obligated to raise at least $4,500 and some raised nearly $50,000.

“The Texas 4000, kind of at its core, is really a storytelling organization that brings people together around cancer, because a lot of the people on the ride have been affected really, really deeply,” said Coulter, who lost his grandfather to cancer.

Another participant on the ride, 22-year-old Parysa Ghanimi, said she was riding for her mother. “When I was six years old and my mom had just turned 30 years old, she was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, unknown primary, stage-4 cancer, and she was only given three months to live. Basically, with her three months she had to decide, ‘am I going to try to fight?’ or ‘am I going to try to keep living?’ and she kept pushing. And so my mom fought for almost seven years and she died at 36 years old,” Ghanimi said.

“I decided to ride because I wanted to honor her life and see the things that she never got to see or experience,” she said. “Every time it gets hard, I just remember my mom. She struggled for seven years. I can easily just say ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ and just get off the bike, but she couldn’t just say, ‘no, I don’t want to have chemotherapy tomorrow,’ because she had two little girls.”

Along the route riders are visiting cancer patients, holding health education workshops and delivering grants to facilities from the funds the ride raised.

Since its founding in 2003, the Texas 4000 ride has raised more than $7 million. More information on the Texas 4000 can be found HERE.

Written by Joshua Murdock

See original article here.