The death of friend from breast cancer inspires 5 long distance bike rides around the USA to raise funds and awareness.
Rick Perez met a woman named Laura in 2015 when a friend brought her to a dinner at his house. He and his wife Sandi enjoyed talking with her and getting to know her. So they were shocked and saddened when she passed away suddenly two months later from breast cancer.
Moved to do something, Rick came up with a big idea – to bike across the United States to raise funds and awareness about breast cancer, early detection, and the challenges cancer patients go through. He called it Laura’s Ride and set about trying to find a charity for the ride to support. He investigated many and ultimately he and his wife chose Lazarex Cancer Foundation. “What I liked about Lazarex was the fact that donations went straight to helping people in really important ways and that was appealing,” he explains.
Rick did his first ride in 2016, from Santa Monica to St Augustine. The next year, he did it again, biking from Astoria, OR to Portsmouth, NH. In 2018, he did a third ride from Quebec to Key West and in 2019 he rode from Vancouver to Tijuana. He raised $40,000 for Lazarex Cancer Foundation’s VIPs (very important patients) during those years.
He took a break from the ride during the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2023 he decided to get back to his fundraising efforts. He launched his latest ride from Seattle on May 20, 2023, headed for Key West, FL and averaging 60-65 miles a day, he completed the ride two months later on July 19th. Through his travels on this journey, he raised over $20,000 for patients being treated for breast cancer in clinical trials and increasing awareness about the challenges cancer patients face traveling to their clinical trials.
“I do this because I love biking. I want to prove that I can still do it. It feels extra meaningful when I can tie it to a cause that helps people the way Lazarex does,” Rick explains.
Rick says he thinks he has one more epic ride in front of him in 2024. He’s planning one final cross country trip from Plattsburg, NY to San Diego, CA. “These two rides, in 2023 and 2024, would make an X across the country and I like the thought of making my mark in that way. We will see,” he says.
Learn more HERE about Laura’s Ride.