24 hours & over 200 mile: Cal's Angels kicks off Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month with bike trip
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month and local nonprofit, Cal's Angels--a pediatric cancer foundation with a mission of granting wishes, raising awareness, and funding research to help kids fighting cancer--kicks it off with 24-hours and over 200 miles of awareness.
Starting Monday, Aug. 31 at 3 p.m., Cal's Angels executive board member Brad Beetham and a team of cyclists will begin the over-200-mile journey on a 24-hour bike ride from Iowa City, Iowa, to St. Charles, Illinois, spreading awareness for pediatric cancer along the way.
Beetham has been on the executive board at Cal's for over five years and is a member of the WOW (War on Wheels), a group of cycling enthusiasts that have been motivated by the courage and perseverance of the brave kids and their families that fight pediatric cancer. Last year, WOW biked from Santa Monica, California, to Chicago, Illinois.
Beetham will be joined by two other cyclists, Glen Galloway and Ken Olson. He will be riding on behalf of his daughter, Madi Beetham, and Ken will be riding in honor of his daughter, Ava, who lost her battle in 2017.
"I'm determined to spread awareness on behalf of not only my daughter, but for all the children and families affected by pediatric cancer," says Beetham. "Our mission with this ride is to raise money to grant wishes, raise awareness, and fund research to help kids fight cancer. My bike has over 200 names written on it that I am riding on behalf of. While we are quite anxious to be on a bike for a grueling 24 hours straight, we know from personal experience that these kids experience much more than 24 hours of pain and suffering regularly."
The team will be cycling from the University of Iowa's Stead Family Children's Hospital to Cal's Angels headquarters located in St. Charles.
Located directly across from the football field, the Stead Family Children's Hospital is very significant to the Cal's Angels team. The hospital thinks outside the box when it comes to cancer, with all of their research coming at the hands of internationally renowned physician-scientists.
At the end of the first quarter of every home Iowa football game, the Hawkeyes, the opposing team, and all the fans take a moment away from the excitement of the game to stand and face the overlooking Stead Family Children's Hospital and wave to excited onlooking pediatric patients. It has quickly become the most revered college football tradition at games.
"As pediatric cancer only receives 4% of total cancer research funding, Cal's Angels is committed to raising awareness for children's cancer research," says President and Co-Founder, Stacey Wahlberg. "After losing Cal, we made it our goal to carry on his legacy. We saw the impact that cancer can have on the entire family and from that point, made it our mission to spread awareness and help others. This September, we are encouraging everyone to Be Bold, and Go Gold."
Since 2007, Cal's has raised over $13,000,000 to support various pediatric cancer programs, including research to help find new cures and treatments. Throughout September for the awareness month, Cal's Angels are encouraging everyone to "Be Bold, and Go Gold."
About Cal's Angels
Cal's Angels is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization located in St. Charles. The organization was founded in 2007 after Cal Sutter lost his battle with acute myelogenous leukemia at only 13 years of age. During his treatment, Cal always cared about others before himself and his kindness was the inspiration behind the foundation whose overarching goal is to grant wishes, raise awareness and fund research to help kids fighting cancer. To learn more about the many ways to help, visit calsangels.org and follow @CalsAngels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.