On July 2, a pair of cyclists will begin a cross-country biking trek in Boonville to raise money for both cancer awareness and research. Freda Swigert, of Glasgow, and her biking partner, Misty Penix, of Camdenton, plan a noon departure that will see them travel more than 1,600 miles to Los Angeles. Their journey will then reverse course and 3,200 miles later the two will find themselves at the end of their ride in Maine.



"I set out to help others a very long time ago. I've had two very close loved ones pass from cancer and now I have a cousin who is battling colon cancer," said Swigert.


On July 2, a pair of cyclists will begin a cross-country biking trek in Boonville to raise money for both cancer awareness and research. Freda Swigert, of Glasgow, and her biking partner, Misty Penix, of Camdenton, plan a noon departure that will see them travel more than 1,600 miles to Los Angeles. Their journey will then reverse course and 3,200 miles later the two will find themselves at the end of their ride in Maine.

"I set out to help others a very long time ago. I've had two very close loved ones pass from cancer and now I have a cousin who is battling colon cancer," said Swigert.

Swigert has long-been involved in fundraising for the American Cancer Society. Her last journey totaled 450 miles – a meager number compared to her new goal – and ended in Nashville. She raised $4000.

"As my family members and very true and dear friends started falling down one by one in my life, it struck me each time. I know that when I go out there and go that mile to get pledges, it truly does play a key role into someday eliminating this disease. There is no pledge too small – even putting some pocket change in shows that you do care and that there is hope," she said.

Pocket change or larger donations go directly to the ACS, which has been combatting the disease for almost 100 years. It, as an organization, has a 3 million-strong volunteer force.

"I've seen what this disease does to all that face it. My mother, father and grandma all battled and lost to this deadly but beatable disease. I never got the chance to help them, but I can help others fight this by offering support through this ride to raise money for all affected," said Misty, Swigert's partner on the trail.

Readers wishing to donate are encouraged to go online to teamacs.acsevents.org. Click on the "Donate" tab and search for Freda's name. Contributions can also be sent to the American Cancer Society at 4207 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108. Donors are asked to include a note that says "Freda's Cancer Ride." The ACS can be reached via telephone at 1-800-277-2345 or on the web at www.cancer.org