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Student from Normal plans to bike cross country for cancer treatment

Jonathan Boudreaux
Jonathan Boudreaux is part of the Illini 4000 team that will bike from New York City to San Francisco this summer.

A college student from Normal plans to participate in a months-long biking journey to raise money for cancer treatment.

Jonathan Boudreaux is one of 17 students in the Illini 4000 that has been active since 2007, and has raised over $1.1 million.

Boudreaux said he is dedicating his bike ride to his grandma whom he never got to meet, his mom’s best friend, and two leaders in his Boy Scout troop who all lost their battles with cancer.

Boudreaux said other members on the team have their own reasons for participating.

“With some team members, it can be pretty immediate family, very close friends as well. For others, it can be outside of that circle, but I think for everyone, yeah, they definitely wanna help promote this good cause.”

The ride is roughly 4,700 miles, starting in New York City on May 26, and the bicyclists will finish Aug. 12 in San Francisco.

Since the team travels for months, they need places to stay throughout their trip.

“We rely on the generosity of schools, community centers, churches, etc. to help us have a place to put our heads at night," Boudreaux said.

The team is accepting donations on its website, Illini4000.org. Proceeds will go to beneficiaries such as the Cancer Center at Illinois, The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, Prairie Dragon Paddlers, and others.

Emily Bollinger is a graduate assistant at WGLT, focused on photography, videography and other digital content. They're also a graduate student at Illinois State University's School of Communication.
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