A local resident is pedaling her way from coast to coast in an effort to fund cancer research as well as support services for affected families. Grace Deetjen is one of 20 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students biking from New York City to San Francisco this summer as part of the Illini 4000.
The not-for-profit started in 2006 to raise money and awareness for cancer through annual cross-country cycling trips.
Last year when Deetjen was a freshman, her mother was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, giving the Naperville North graduate a personal reason to join this year’s ride. While preparing for the journey, Deetjen raised more than $5,400, and the whole team’s total has reached more than $82,000.
“I’m really proud of it but I’m also extraordinarily grateful. I’ve been blessed by so many people who have contributed to my cause, a lot of family and friends who’ve donated,” said Deetjen.
You can follow the group’s progress as they battle cancer on two wheels over the next 10 weeks by checking out www.illini4000.org. And, stay tuned to NCTV17 for an update to the story when we check in with Deetjen at a later date.
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