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Q&A with Stanford undergrads biking for kids with cancer

2A9D0C29-A051-480B-BF9C-0FAF52C1C323As previously written about on Scope, Stanford juniors Chris Min and Nick Abram have embarked on a 60-day cross-country bicycle trip this summer to raise awareness for childhood cancer. The two also are raising money for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital’s Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases.

Abram and Min’s blog, California to Carolina, lets readers track their whereabouts during a 55-city U.S. tour, revised according to locals’ advice or unforeseen challenges along the way. The two make note of the friendly people they encounter, some of whom provide free meals, discounted motel stays, and even extended massage sessions after learning about their cause. Min and Abram chronicle their adventures through mountains, deserts, and highways; sleeping upon beds or couches or camping out in someone’s yard; and battling flat tires, saddle sores, exhaustion, and acute illness. And they document, in detail, their impressive food intake.

The bikers recently took time to answer Scope’s questions from the road:

What made you decide to take this journey in support of children who have cancer?

Nick Abram and Chris Min: A senior during our freshman year took a similar journey to raise money for Darfur. His journey inspired us but we wanted to raise money for a cause a little closer to home. [When Chris was in eighth grade, his grandfather died from lung cancer. Nick's mother passed away last year after battling three types of cancer for three-and-a-half years.] We agreed to children's cancer after recognizing that both of our deceased loved ones were very positive and loved children. Thankfully, our loved ones affected by cancer led beautiful lives into adulthood. No child should have to go through the struggle that our loved ones did at such a young age, with so much life ahead of them.

What are your academic majors and career interests? Might medicine play a role in your future?

NA: I plan on majoring in product design. Ultimately I want to start my own company with the inventions I create. I can see myself designing better medical products and machines.

CM: I plan on majoring in economics with minors in computer science and creative writing. I've never really considered medicine as a career but I have much respect for those in medicine - it's so much school!

How has your bicycling journey raised awareness for your cause? 

NA and CM: As we've been journeying we've been telling people about our stories and they have been very responsive. People often tell us about their cancer stories and some even donate.

Any favorite anecdotes to share?

NA: So, some people might have read this on our blog, but I got extremely dehydrated and exhausted coming out of Vegas and riding into Mesquite. Unfortunately I felt sick, and I tried to rush to the bathroom. I didn't quite make it and I threw up on a middle-aged woman gambling on the slots. I felt so bad, but I probably saved her some money.

How can readers contribute to your cause?

CM: Follow our blog! And if you're feeling feisty, consider donating.
NA: Please, please, please visit us at and donate.

Previously: Image of the Week: Cycling to fight cancer and Stanford researchers cycle in support of Alzheimer’s funding

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