Sparta resident bikes 4,000 miles to battle cancer

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:22

    SPARTA — They did it! Taylor Koriakin, Sparta resident and her 26 team mates on the San Francisco 4k for Cancer team rode across the Golden Gate Bridge on Aug. 6. Koriakin graduated from Sparta High School in 2208. She went on to the University of Connecticut and graduated Cum Laude in three years. The 4,00 mile bike ride was not her first foray into helping others. She spend her high school and college years volunteering with her church's youth group, RISE, a group that works on neddy persons' homes and traveling to Mississippi and New Orleans to help in hurricane ravaged areas. Graduated Sparta H.S 2008 with academic honors 4k for Cancer began 10 years ago inspired by John Hopkins students who wanted to demonstrate their commitment to fight this disease that affects so many. This year they expanded the ride to three teams: San Francisco/Portland/Seattle and became a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation headquartered in Baltimore, Md. To date the three teams raised over $470,000 in donations. Koriakin, through the support of family, friends, local businesses, Sparta United Methodist Church and many others, raised over $7800. While on the journey, the team experienced the generosity and caring of people who housed them, fed them and nourished their spirits during their struggles to complete their mission. They left Baltimore as individuals and arrived San Francisco as a team. The team met with people battling cancer, survivors and families that lost love ones, and shared information on the latest cancer treatments. The riders walked away amazed at the strength and courage these people demonstrated, but even more than that, the understanding that death is something everyone must face, but how to live is a choice. Taylor went directly from the completion of the 4k to work in research in autism at The Kennedy Krieger Institute Baltimor. Her goal is to pursue a PhD in psychology.