Sam Corley, undergraduate, Computer Science
Urbana, Ill. — The Illini 4000 is a non-profit organization whose members are University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign students that are documenting the American cancer experience through The Portraits Project, raising funds for cancer research and patient support services, and spreading awareness for the fight against cancer through annual cross-country bike rides.
Since its founding in 2006, the Illini 4000 has raised and donated over $1.1M towards the fight against cancer, with a portion of the funds donated to the Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL). Illini 4000 riders also often include students in the CCIL’s education and training programs.
Angela Jing, undergraduate, Gies College of Business
Zona Hrnjak, undergraduate, Geography and Computer Science
Jessica Fornek, undergraduate, Statistics
The students’ 2022 ride across America started May 22, 2022 in New York City, NY, and is scheduled to end in San Francisco in early August. On their way, the team stopped in Urbana, Illinois, to visit and celebrate their outstanding efforts and achievements at a reception hosted by the Cancer Center at Illinois, its researchers, their family and friends, and cancer research advocates, including members of the Prairie Dragon Paddlers.
Cal Howley, undergraduate, Gies College of Business
“I’m proud of the funds we’ve raised, and the portraits we’ve collected for The Portraits Project, [for which] we interviewed people who have been affected by cancer, including patients and their family members. It’s so good to hear the stories and perspectives that they have to share with those who are experiencing cancer now,” said the president of the 2022 Illini 4000 riders, Max Potvin.
The 2022 team has raised $103,444.55 so far.
Former Illini 4000 riders Viraat Goel and Erin Tevonian attended the CCIL’s welcoming reception to celebrate the 2022 riders.
“The Illini 4000 is an incredible celebration of a community’s ability to support a wider cause. It gives students a once-in-a-lifetime experience that benefits a good cause and teaches you the values of applying your fortitude beyond the borders of your campus,” Goel said.
Paul Hergenrother, CCIL Deputy Director, said a few words in appreciation for the riders and their dedication.
“This great work and the willingness to ride in any weather throughout the country is amazing. On behalf of CCIL researchers, I want to say how excited and grateful we are to you Illini 4000 riders for your donations. A very big thanks to you all,” said Hergenrother.