Senior raises money, awareness for cancer through 4K bike trip

As an active member of the college community, psychology and communication double major senior Sophia Garber dedicates much of her time to helping people around her. Garber has decided to top off her four years at Geneseo by biking across the country in honor of those affected by cancer. (Sarah Hashmi/Staff Photographer)

Sophia Garber’s four years at Geneseo have influenced her to dedicate more of her life toward helping people and her community. By involving herself in many activities on campus and by being an active member of the Geneseo community, she works hard to pursue her passion of helping others. 

From being an orientation advisor, a Knightline dance team member, an e-board member for Orchesis and the co-chair for Relay for Life, Garber has spent her time at Geneseo immersing herself in her hobbies.

Garber’s experiences specifically working with Orientation and Relay have encouraged her personal growth.

“Orientation and Relay makes you step outside of your comfort zone,” Garber said. “It really helped me work with my interpersonal communication with people.” 

Relay for Life also grants perspective, and by organizing and planning for Relay this semester, Garber gained the full extent of this experience.

“It’s a magical experience where you get to be part of something that’s so big and so successful,” Garber said. “It’s something the Geneseo community makes happen.”

This summer, Garber will participate in a 4K bike ride for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults in an effort to raise $4,500 for the organization.

Because of her involvement in organizations—such as Relay—on campus, Garber’s decision to participate in the upcoming 4K was an easy one. The idea of helping other people and their struggles with cancer motivated Garber to get involved.

“It’s something that so many people are affected by—it’s something that affects almost everybody in some way,” Garber said. “I’ve seen how people come together to fight against this; I’ve seen how it builds community.” 

The 4K starts on June 3 in Baltimore, Maryland and ends on Aug. 13 in San Francisco. Four thousand miles, 70 days and 10 stop days all will be spent biking across the country to raise $4,500 for the Ulman Cancer fund for Young Adults. Since the program’s expenses—such as accommodations and food—are covered through donations, all of the money goes straight to the Ulman Cancer Fund.

During those 70 days, Garber and other young adults will spend their time biking across the country while volunteering on their stop days. The bikers will volunteer in a multitude of ways during the 10 stop days. 

“We will be volunteering at hospitals with cancer patients, delivering chemo care bags and delivering scholarships,” Garber said. 

Garber is also helping those suffering from cancer by dedicating each of the 70 days to someone going through cancer. Garber will write their name on her calf and use it as motivation throughout the day.

“I’m honoring that person and using that as motivation to get through the day,” Garber said. “This is hard, but going through cancer is harder.”

Garber’s decision to involve herself in this 4K allowed her to kick start her passion for helping others and for making a difference. Her plans in the future include applying to AmeriCorps, where she could pursue her passion of helping people and communities. Garber’s experience studying abroad in Peru is another source of inspiration for her to consider applying for jobs working for non-profits in South America.

Until graduation, you can find Garber training for the 4K and raising money to participate.