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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Cyclist to complete tour for cancer at A&M

 
 

When David Kiser stopped in San Antonio during his ride to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer, he met a woman who lost her father and her husband to the disease. The woman was so inspired by his story that she took her children to meet him again at his rally in Austin.
Kiser, who is riding 700 miles in memory of his mother-in-law who died of pancreatic cancer in May 2004, understood her pain. Kiser said stories, such as the one relayed by the woman he met in San Antonio, are inspiring and make the miles seem shorter.
“I guess my favorite part of this ride has been sharing my story with people and hearing their stories, as well,” Kiser said. “It is amazing to me the number of people that have been affected by pancreatic cancer. They are very sincere and caring folks, and they all have been touched by this disease.”
Kiser kicked off the ride in Houston and will end his trek at the George Bush Presidential Library Complex in College Station on Friday at 4 p.m.
Kiser said he has been cycling 100 miles a day and, on his trip through Waco, he averaged a speed of 21 miles per hour. He said that although the ride is strenuous, the most difficult part of the drive is being away from his family. Kiser said he is excited to meet up with his wife and two of his three sons at his last stop in College Station.
Becky Evetts, director and founder of Team Hope Houston and two-year survivor of pancreatic cancer, has been following Kiser in his ride along with two other Team Hope Houston volunteers. Kiser said this is a big feat for such a new organization.
“This is the first year we are doing this ride,” Kiser said. “I started this group six months ago. We’re doing an awfully big thing, incredibly fast.”
Evetts said Kiser is cycling to promote awareness about pancreatic cancer, which is considered the deadliest cancer. It has an average survival rate of only three to six months, said Angela Johnson, the director of PanCAN Team Hope. Johnson said pancreatic cancer is the least-funded cancer, receiving only 0.8 percent of the money the National Cancer Institute distributes for research, and only 10 researchers are working full time to its study. She said pancreatic cancer is hard to diagnose, and often the diagnosis is too late, which is why PanCAN works to increase awareness through events like Kiser’s.
“All of our efforts are grassroots,” Johnson said. “It’s totally out of the goodness of their own heart, and their own passion for making a change with this disease.”
Evetts said she hopes to get the word out about pancreatic cancer with Kiser’s ride.
“We’re trying to let people hear about pancreatic cancer and let them hear about how deadly it is, so we can get people to get loud and be activists,” Evetts said.
Kiser said he hopes his ride will make people aware of how deadly pancreatic cancer is, and he urged people to use talents to make a difference in their own lives.
“A year ago I didn’t think riding a bike would make a difference,” Kiser said. “People need to use the skills God has given them, and they need to make a difference with them.”
Kiser said the turnout has been good so far in the towns they have stopped by. When they stopped in Austin, Nov. 8 was declared Pancreatic Cancer Day for Texas and, in Waco, the Baylor cyclists met Kiser several miles outside of town, and rode in with him.
“We’ve had a good turnout,” Evetts said. “The weather has been fantastic, so we know God’s smiling down on us for this.”
Evetts said $10,000 has already been collected through Kiser’s ride.
“It’s been fun,” Evetts said. “And this is just the beginning.”
Mike Roberson, a senior engineering technology major and treasurer of the A&M Cycling Team, said that although the cycling team is out of town and will not be able to ride with Kiser, it is still strongly supporting Kiser.
“We really respect people that ride that far, and it’s an incredible way to show support to the cancer community,” Roberson said. “We’re extremely excited to see someone ride that far. And hopefully if anything happens in the future, we will be there to ride with him.”

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