- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Jessica Tallant’s family has had its share of loved ones affected by cancer.
Jessica’s uncle, Steve Humphries, died of pancreatic cancer in August. Her cousin, Lily Anderson, was 11 years old when she died in December 2012 from stage IV neuroblastoma cancer. Her mother Candy Tallant’s close friend recently passed away from breast cancer that spread into bone cancer, and her grandmother, Joan Wroten, 78, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer seven years ago and went into remission five years ago.
The 21-year-old Salisbury University student has always been involved with programs and fundraising related to cancer, including being a team captain for Relay For Life and a SideOut Foundation ambassador for Dig Pink, an organized volleyball match her college team participates in yearly that helps support clinical trials for breast cancer research.
But the Lusby resident felt there was more she could do. Beginning on Sunday, June 1, Tallant will embark on a 70-day, 4,000-mile bike ride from Baltimore to Seattle, raising money leading up to and throughout her trip.
“It kind of all goes back to the fact that it’s taken years for us to find a cure for cancer, and every year I feel like every month you come across a new cancer that’s been found, and there’s always a new trial you can put yourself in to find a cure, but there might not be a cure,” Jessica Tallant said.
When her boyfriend, Daniel Seigel, participated in the 4K for Cancer, a biking program run through the Ulman Cancer Fund for Adults, Tallant said she thought it would be “epic.”
Throughout her upcoming trip, Tallant said her team will be stopping in different cities and staying with host families, churches and universities and will spend some nights camping outside.
“Even though it’s such a huge sacrifice for me, it will never compare to the sacrifice someone battling cancer will have to go through, and it’s such a holistic way to give back to the cancer community,” Tallant said.
Tallant has been fundraising since September through word of mouth, Facebook and her volleyball team, and she even sent out cards during the holidays to friends and family informing them of her goal. By the day she reaches Seattle, slated Saturday, Aug. 9, she wants to have raised $6,000. Currently, she’s raised $3,000.
“It’s very touching,” Candy Tallant, Jessica’s mother, said. “I see how much she really wants to help in bringing awareness and raise funds to help find a cure and prevention awareness and education. … It takes a lot of time, but she’s so into it, it doesn’t seem to matter.”
What she’s most looking forward to is “the sense I’ve made a difference in somebody’s life,” Jessica Tallant said.
“But I guess, to me, this trip isn’t what I’m going to get out of it. It’s what I’m going to put into it, and that’s a yearlong process,” she said.
She is raising funds through her website, http://4kforcancer.org/profiles/jessica-tallant.