On January 16, 2010, I will begin an epic journey across Africa—by bicycle. The 7,375 mile expedition will start in Cairo and end four months later in Cape Town; I will cycle through 10 countries and some of the most rugged and magnificent landscapes and experience diverse and indigenous cultures throughout the journey. This is a supported ride, through Tour d’Afrique, and represents one of the longest and most challenging bicycle expeditions in the world.
I will be riding to raise money for the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes prevention, early detection and research to end melanoma. This is a cause that is deeply personal to me, as I am a two-time melanoma survivor. My dad, my maternal grandfather, and a close friend have all fought melanoma.
Having been diagnosed for the first time at the age of twenty-five, I am one of the growing numbers of young adults faced with having to fight cancer. Melanoma is the most common cancer among young adults, ages 20-30, and the primary cancer death for women ages 25-30. Now, cancer-free and nearly ten years past my initial diagnosis, I am channeling the tenacity and persistence that helped me fight cancer and protect myself from reoccurrence to raising funds to educate and protect others from melanoma.