08/28/2012 12:43 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Cycling From Alaska to South America

Cycling brings people together for a cause. Over recent years, cycling has brought awareness to different types of cancers, which has been the prominent method to raising awareness and fundraising for the cause.

My best friend Jesse Frechione and I are taking the bike ride of a lifetime from Anchorage, Alaska to Columbia in honor of Fremont, California-based HERS Breast Cancer Foundation (HBCF). It has always been a dream of ours to ride through South America after watching the movie The Motorcycle Diaries. We are proud to be doing this for HBCF and to live our dream.

This charity is very close to my heart because my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in February 2011. She underwent chemotherapy and all the other rigorous treatments along with it. These women go through a very grueling process, both emotionally and physically. The mission of the HERS Breast Cancer Foundation is to support all women healing from breast cancer by providing post-surgical products and services, regardless of financial status to restore dignity and beauty in the lives of breast cancer survivors.


The ironic thing about this journey is that Jesse and I have probably accumulated less than 1,000 miles combined on a bike in our entire lifetime, so this will be quite the adventure and challenge for the both of us. This journey will take roughly four months and we'll ride around 6,000 miles. We will spin through Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon, California, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rice, Panama, and Columbia. We departed on August 23 and are set to finish in Cartagena, Columbia on December 14.

Jesse and I prepared by mapping out our entire trip; our route and map can be found on the website. With the addition of our regular workout routine, we started training on Mt. Flat Top, which is a beautiful tourist attraction in Alaska with great elevation. We've also planned and purchased all the necessary protective gear, from solar charges for cell phones to protection against bears, camping equipment, clothes for the different climates, etc.
We are determined, passionate, nervous, excited, and everything that falls in-between about our journey and about raising money for HBCF. We found HBCF on Crowdrise, an online fundraising site for charities and immediately liked the HBCF mission -- as they work with breast cancer survivors and are helping my mother now. HBCF holds an annual HERS KEEP ABREAST walk/run, a community fitness fundraising event held in Fremont, which brings together friends and family of those who are fighting or are survivors of breast cancer, while celebrating the lives of those lost to breast cancer.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you feel like joining this trip at any point. It's always great to have extra company! You can follow us throughout our journey on our website, Twitter or Facebook. We would like to thank everyone for supporting us and all those who have donated towards the HERS Breast Cancer Foundation.