Growing up, I never would have considered biking from Mechanicsburg to Hershey. Not only did it seem like a distance only achievable by car, but there wasn’t a great route. It’s funny how things change…after the miles and roads logged on this trip, 30 miles and the lack of a well-defined route no longer felt like a concern.
Sam and I left our gear at my Mom’s house, which dropped 60+ pounds from each of our bikes. Our steel frames now felt like carbon tri-bikes after lugging that gear through five states. We made our way through downtown Mechanicsburg, making a pit-stop at Mountainside Ski & Sports for some advice on the best route to Hershey. Crossing into Harrisburg using the Market Street bridge, we met up with Derry Street, which took us into Hummelstown. Knowing that daylight was no longer our limiting factor, we tended to coast more than we pedaled and took a few detours, but we eventually made it to just outside of Hershey. Sam and I stopped at a bench on a hill right behind the medical center and waited for the rest of my family to arrive as a welcome party. As we sat there, I started to think about how it would only take us a few minutes to make it to the entrance from here. Our last minute of biking was about to happen. That last minute was for Casey.
9 days, 100 hours, 5960 minutes, 5 states later...we were about to complete our journey.
We got the call to head down, and so Sam and I finished our ride with our Minute for ALL t-shirts proudly displayed as we biked into the entrance of Penn State Hershey Medical Center. My family was waiting there, also donning their Minute for ALL t-shirts and some signs, compliments of Hailey. After we finished, Casey showed us the hospital, taking us to the rooms where he received transfusions and his chemotherapy, and introducing us to a few of his nurses. We were also fortunate to run into one of Casey’s doctors, Dr. Jennifer Kovatch (pictured with Sam, Casey, the Nittany lion, and I) who has been an absolute rock star in her care for my brother. Thank you for everything, Dr. Kovatch.
Sam and I received a lot of congratulations when we finished. I am proud of what Sam and I have been able to accomplish. I am also extremely grateful to have Sam and Andrea as friends, who volunteered to help me in this venture without hesitation. But all that Sam, Andrea, and I did was ride our bikes. The real congratulations should go to Casey, who has decided that while he may have leukemia, leukemia does not have him. The congratulations should go to all of you who have selflessly donated to our cause, contributing to the over $14,000 we have raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The congratulations should go to the 5,960 people diagnosed with ALL this year, and to the numerous others who are battling blood cancers on a daily basis. My friends and I are just doing our small part in supporting all of you in your fight.
Please enjoy this video from our trip: https://youtu.be/Awqgx1vfC10
Thank you to everyone for the support, and for taking a minute for ALL with us.