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Alumna bikes 4,000+ miles to support cancer research

August 02, 2018 2:00 PM
Alicia Jasmin ajasmin@tulane.edu
On day 22 of her trip, Tulane alumna Emily Baas posts a photo with the caption: "Somewhere between Princeton and Moline, Illinois, we found a huge field of Black-eyed Susans!" (Photos from Instagram)


It’s day 60 of Tulane University alumna Emily Baas’ 70-day day bike ride for cancer. Her spirits are high and her mission is clear.

“Take it one pedal at a time,” she tells herself. “I am capable of completing this journey.”

Baas, who earned a master’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Tulane University School of Medicine in May, is not alone. She is surrounded by a group of 24 other college-aged bikers currently en route to Portland, Oregon. The journey, once complete, will have covered approximately 4,500 miles from its start in Baltimore, Maryland.

“Take it one pedal at a time.”

—Emily Baas, alumna

Funds raised from the trip benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

As the group pedals across the country, they stop to spend a day in each town they encounter. Yes, they rest, but they also use these days for community service, which often includes visits to the local hospital’s cancer ward.

Baas’ involvement with fundraising for cancer — first as a participant in the Pelotonia 180-mile ride benefiting Ohio State University’s cancer research center — began with the bladder cancer diagnosis and eventual succumbing of her aunt to the disease.

“After my aunt passed, I witnessed the rapid and gruesome decline of my uncle John as he fought brain cancer,” said Baas. “I promised him at his funeral that I would do better for him as I pursue a career in medicine and give with all my ability to make sure others don’t have to head down his path.”

She has already begun the medical school application process.

To keep up with Baas during the final stretch of her trek, follow her on Instagram at @embaasbaas.

Baas brakes for a look at Mount Rushmore.
With summer temperatures soaring, Baas, center, and fellow bikers enjoy a cool treat.