Recent Hobart graduates Nathaniel Higley ’09 and Trevor Hooper ’09 will soon conclude their cross-country cycling trip by dipping their front wheels into the Atlantic Ocean in Falmouth, Maine – a tradition for cross-country cyclists and particularly meaningful for the Higley and Hooper, who travelled 4,000 miles across the United States to raise money for cancer research.
They are raising money for the Boston, Mass., based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which treats about 250,000 patients each year. Both Higley and Hooper were inspired to raise money in support of cancer research and patient care by the impact the illness has had on them and their families.
Thus far, they have raised $4,160 of their $5,000 goal, which will go directly to the Jimmy Fund, the fundraising branch of the Dana-Farber Institute.
Higley, a long-time participant in the Pan-Mass challenge cycling race, decided to team up with Hooper in this year’s ride across Massachusetts and participate as “virtual riders,” allowing them to map their own route.
In late July, they purchased one-way tickets to Portland, Ore., where they dunked their rear wheels in the Pacific and began their biking expedition east, traveling across the upper portion of the country.
Recently, during a brief stop in Geneva, Hooper and Higley shared their story with members of the HWS community, presenting a series of photos capturing the journey so far of the highs and lows, camaraderie and solitude, and encounters with the natural wonders of the landscape and the simple kindness of strangers.
Both Hooper and Higley agreed that the random acts of kindness from strangers far outweighed the physical and mental exhaustion they experienced while riding, that the overwhelming generosity of the people they encountered refreshed and renewed their determination.
“Meeting people along the way was one of the most rewarding things,” said Hooper. “It gave us a new perspective.”
If you’d like to contribute to their fundraising efforts, or track their progress, go to http://www.PMC.org/profile/nh0026.
Higley graduated with a B.A. in economics and a minor in environmental studies. Hooper also graduated with a B.A. in economics, and a double minor in philosophy and media and society.