Seniors Davis Nossaman and Connor Botes will embark on a 4,000 mile, 70 day journey this summer with nonprofit 4K for Cancer.
According to 4K for Cancer’s website, the 4K program was started in 2001 by undergraduate students at Johns Hopkins University. The organization eventually expanded and combined with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, another nonprofit.
What began as a cross- country bike ride to commemorate a student’s father who had passed away from cancer turned into a nonprofit organization that has raised over 5 million dollars for cancer research and survivor support.
According to Nossaman, the nonprofit has a network of patients it serves.
“(The money raised) is mostly for treatment,” Nossaman said. “Primarily, what they do is they send care packages, and so it’s got some fun stuff in there and then also necessary items.”
Nossaman and Botes found the nonprofit through a friend and believed it was the perfect
“I have always enjoyed bike riding, and I knew that after I graduated, I wanted to have some sort of big adventure,” Nossaman said. “I kind of figured that those two would go hand in hand but had no idea that it would be all the way across the country.”
In their biker profiles on 4K for Cancer, both Nossaman and Botes said they want to ride in honor of close relatives who have died from cancer as well as for Nita Cochran the wife of Bible and Ministry professor Ross Cochran.
The program offers three different biking routes beginning in Baltimore and ending in either San Francisco, Seattle or Portland, Oregon. Nossaman and Botes will be taking the Seattle route with a team of about 30 people. This year will be the eighth year for their route and the 14th year for the program as a whole.
“They take care of everything,” Botes said. “They have water stops for you, they have a car in front of you and behind you carrying all your gear and mapping out the routes for you, making sure you have a place to stay, and that you have food.”
Their route will have them pass the Appalachian Mountains, Lake Michigan, Chicago, Big Sky Country, Glacier National Park, North Cascades National Park, Olympic National Park and the San Juan Islands.
“Connor and I had talked about (biking) a little bit last semester. We just had the desire to take a cross-country trip,” Nossaman said. “Knowing the two of us, I don’t know that it would have ever like fully come together on our own.”
Their team, Team Seattle, will leave on June 3 and finish on Aug. 11. Both Botes and Nossaman each set a goal to raise $5,000 for the cause.
As of March 15, Nossaman and Botes were 69 and 71 percent to their goal respectively. Nossaman has raised $3,470 and Botes has raised $3,575.
They will host a bone marrow drive as part of their admission. They both need 50 donors.
“We’ll do some camping, and every single morning we’ll do a period of reflection and write something for those who we are riding for,” Botes said.
Botes and Nossaman recently discovered another Harding student will be participating in the 4K trip with a different team. Sophomore Bartosz Kwiecinski is part of Team Portland.
“I found out about the race sometime last semester,” Kwiecinski said. “I think it will be interesting to be with people who think similar to me and like to do similar things.”
Kwienciski’s team will leave from Baltimore on June 3 and finish the journey on Aug. 11 in Portland, Oregon.
To support participants visit www.4kforcancer.org/donate.
Written by Matthew King and Raianne Mason