UT Students Gear up for 4,000 Mile Bike Ride - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

UT Students Gear up for 4,000 Mile Bike Ride

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(KCEN) -- Over 1.5 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year alone, but students at University of Texas, Austin are on an incredible journey to fight against the disease.
     
Ashley Wallace was only 7-years-old when her mom lost a second battle with breast cancer. "She really inspired me to just see the good in things and celebrate the life she had," Wallace said. 

So that's exactly what she's doing this summer, biking from Austin all the way to Anchorage, Alaska. It's called Texas 4,000 and each of the 78 UT students are riding with a purpose.

Ross McGarity is riding for his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. "It really hit close to home and showed me that this can really affect anyone," he said.
The journey will take 70 days, averaging about 80 miles a day. On Sunday night, the students stayed at Summit Recreation Center in Temple after a local woman heard about the ride and just wanted to help. "It gave me the chill bumps just to be able to do this for them, " Eddy Freeman said. "I'm proud of them...they're young and they want to do this for cancer." 
Breaks like the one they had on Sunday night will be hard to come by. Most nights they'll camp out wherever they can, but they say it's a symbol of what cancer patients deal with every day.
"They go through so much pain and struggle and it's the least that we can do to inspire hope," McGarity said.

Each student is required to raise at least $4,500 dollars, but some of them have doubled that. Along the way, they'll stop at hospitals that have received grants from the program in the past. The students say the friendships they're making are an added bonus to the awareness they're creating.

"It inspires people to tell their stories and be open," Wallace said. "You really get a unique friendship with these people because...you have something in common."

To follow the students as they ride across the continent, visit the Texas 4,000 website.
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