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July 20, 2010 > Two American High students bike for cancer research

Two American High students bike for cancer research

By Jerry Ting
Photos By courtesy of Chris Chan and Arvind Mahesh

"I love you, Dad. Always have, always will," states Chris Chan as the last line of his biography on his website. Chan's father, Harvey Chan, an avid cyclist, passed away early this May after battling sarcoma cancer for a decade.

Chan and his friend Arvind Mahesh, both incoming American High School juniors, are currently on a biking endeavor that spans over 850 miles from Astoria, Oregon to San Francisco, to raise funds for the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR). The NFCR is dedicated to finding new treatments and therapies for cancer patients. The two teenagers' original goal was to raise $10,000 dollars. They exceeded that mark just three days after beginning their journey.

Having begun their ride on July 11, the two are averaging 60-80 miles per a day to reach the Golden Gate Bridge, almost two entire weeks after beginning their ride. When they finally arrive, Chan and Mahesh will have biked over long stretches of forestry, mountainous roads, cruised along the scenic shorelines of the pacific, and pushed their bodies to continue to pedal, mile after mile, rain or shine.

"Although challenging, the scenery was simply spectacular," wrote the two on their blog, which they will be updating every night when they finally get some rest. "At times we were surrounded by trees, other times we had the ocean crashing onto the rocks at the right."

Chan and Mahesh are following interstate freeways from city to city, spending their nights in hotel rooms after biking for over seven hours each day. They bring along only what they can carry, mostly cycling gear and Clif Bars, which sponsored their ride with needed supplies.

After nine months of planning and bicycling hundreds of miles, the two look forward to returning to American High School after passing through San Francisco on July 23 for a reception titled, the Ride Against Cancer Benefit Rally, organized by Associated Student Body Chief Justice, Robby Gill. The rally will include performances by professional Bay Area bands, American High School students, donation tables, cancer-awareness tables, and an awards presentation by Mayor Bob Wasserman to congratulate Chan and Mahesh for their achievements.

The planning committee for the rally has already contacted Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congressman Pete Stark, and Assembly member Alberto Torrico, among a long list of political leaders for possible appearances at the rally.

Currently, Chan and Mahesh have already entered California and are making their way to San Francisco. "Witnessing his [Harvey Chan's] challenging battles with cancer throughout my childhood and early teen years has truly taught me several valuable lessons in life: never giving up and always fighting for my dreams. And ultimately, my father had inspired me to do this ride," says Chan.

Ride Against Cancer Benefit Rally
Friday, July 23
5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
American High School Softball Field
36300 Fremont Blvd, Fremont
(510) 331-1671
Website/ Nightly Blog: http://www.ride-against-cancer.org/

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