Hopkins 4K for Cancer

The mission of Hopkins 4K for Cancer is to unite communities across the country in the fight against cancer by spreading awareness, raising funds, and fostering hope.


July 29, 2007

by Nicole Errett
WE MADE IT! I never ever thought that this day would come. After breaking my hand the first day of the trip last summer, I could not imagine that the day when I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. This summer was filled with tons of hardships, as well. Not only did I hurt my back, but I hurt my bike! I had no bike to ride over the bridge with! Arun was in the same boat after breaking off his derailer hanger. We decided yesterday to rent a tandem bike, a bike with two seats, and pedal the last day together. Talk about team work! (We recommend that all engaged couples ride on a tandem before marriage – it’s a great communication skills test!) Riding the tandem across the bridge was not the hard part. It was getting to the bridge that was the problem. I guess I should tell you a little bit about our day…
The vans were cleaned out yesterday but not everyone had claimed their stuff. We also still had a ton of things to throw away that we had used during the night. We woke up and spent the first hour and a half filling up China Camps dumpsters. We then had our morning meeting where we each got flowers to put in our helmets! (Helmets, hair... whatever.) We presented our final three leaders with some thank you presents (the rest had been thanked at our pow-wows) and did our final ride dedications. I think that almost everyone dedicated their final ride. Some dedicated their ride to the people they had been riding for the entire trip while others dedicated their rides to the people that we met along the way. I dedicated my ride to my 4K teammates because I would not have made it that far without them. As I said, I have faced many obstacles getting to the finish line. I am not an athlete. As a matter of fact, biking across the country is the first athletic endeavor I have ever attempted. After hurting my hand and my back, my bike got run over by our van. Despite the times that I wanted to give up and couldn’t quite remember the reasons that I sat on that saddle everyday, my teammates would never let me. They constantly reminded me of my inspiration, my Dad, and that I had 26 biggest fans. I have never been a part of a team before the 4K and I doubt that any team could ever top my first one!
The ride to China Camp was a tough one. Special thanks to Mr. Ahnmark and Dr. Kramer for driving our vans so that we could all ride the last day together. There were tons of steep hills and in 4K style, we didn’t have directions until the last minute. Everyone cheered on Arun and me on our tandem. We went really fast on the flats but fell behind on the uphills. Arun tried to give me an anxiety attack by going 40 mph down the hills. I sat in the back because I couldn’t reach the pedals in the front and couldn’t see or brake. It was a traumatic, but enjoyable, experience!
We were running a little late so when we finally reached the bridge we only took a few quick pictures before we hopped back on our bike to cross. The bridge was beautiful. It was foggy and chilly, but all that we expected. The inexperienced children on rental bikes were a little nerve racking but the team of family and friends waiting at the other side made it all worthwhile. We hugged them and continued on a little while to Crissy Field where people from the American Cancer Society and Colleges Against Cancer met us. The city of San Francisco issued us a proclamation making July 29, 2007 “Hopkins 4K for Cancer Day.” It was an exciting arrival filled with laughs and champagne. After a ton of pictures we all dipped our front tires in the San Francisco Bay, making our trek literally one from “Sea to Shining Sea.”
We grabbed our stuff for one last time and separated. We did not say “goodbye” yet because we were all off to a lovely banquet at Guama’s curtsey of our wonderful sponsor, Wellpoint. The team and our family and friends went all dressed up and enjoyed a lovely Mexican meal. The dinner was a celebration of our accomplishment. It was one of the toughest days of the whole trip because we had to say our final “goodbyes.” Everyone says that you will see each other again, but there will probably never be a time when we are all in a room together. The amount of time we spent together made us all close friends and the experiences we have had together and the memories we have made together have given us a unique bond. I will miss each and every one of my teammates.
This journey has been a great one. It has been filled with laughter, smiles, tears, moments of disbelief and moments of awe. The country is a beautiful one, but its people cannot be described by a few words in a journal entry. Going from community to community and sharing stories of others fighting cancer has shown me that there is a sense of unity. We have met people from many different backgrounds – different races, religions, ethnicities, and socioeconomic status. Despite our differences, there is one thing that I have seen bring us together – the fight against cancer. Our potential to win the battle is exponentially increased with each person that joins our fight. This trip does not end here. It will continue to inspire people across America because they will become aware that they are not alone. So thank you, America. Thank you for hope.

YEAH 4K 2007!