One in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. Statistics also show that 98 percent of cases are curable, if they are detected early.
But a national study by the Breast Cancer Surveillance Coalition found that the number of mammogram screenings took a significant dive during the height of the pandemic, as people were concerned about safety protocols at healthcare facilities.
It’s this issue that is close to Trevor Fuhriman’s heart, which led him on a 1,700-mile journey along the West Coast on a bike to stress the importance of early detection through mammograms.
Fuhriman, a longtime Morgan Hill resident who is now studying medicine at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, rode an average of 113 miles a day from July 2-19, beginning at the Canadian border and traveling mostly along the coast to the border of Mexico, meeting up with friends and family along the way.
Fuhriman drew inspiration for the ride from his grandmother Bev, who died last year from breast cancer.
“She was an amazing, amazing woman,” he said. “She was a woman who left an impact on anyone she met. She was so full of life. After her passing, I realized how preventable breast cancer is.”
An avid rider, Fuhriman, 27, said he wanted to use his love of biking to spread the message of early detection and prevention of breast cancer.
“My whole mission is to turn some heads and draw attention to breast cancer,” he said.
Donning a pink jersey, Fuhriman used social media to let followers track his journey. He said he received “really awesome feedback” along the way, hearing stories from others affected by breast cancer while encouraging many to get screened.
Fuhriman is using his platform to raise money for the Women’s Breast & Heart Initiative, an organization that goes door-to-door and provides education through other channels to promote healthy living while providing mobile mammography clinics.
Fuhriman’s journey began July 2 at Blaine, Wash., as close as he could get to the border of Canada. From there, Fuhriman rode his Trek road bike along the coast, working his way through San Francisco down to Monterey and beyond via Highway 1 as a friend followed in an RV.
He added that the path was easy for the most part to follow, except when Highway 1 dissolved into city streets or when cell service made for spotty GPS.
Despite a few flat tires along the way, Fuhriman said he was very happy how his bike held up as well as his body, noting that he felt he could pedal all day in cruising gear.
“I’ve never undertaken something like this before,” he said. “I really tried to push myself and draw as much attention as possible.”
Fuhriman said based on the overwhelmingly positive response he received, he plans on another ride next year.
“The statistics are what originally got me hyped to raise as much awareness as possible,” he said. “This was not a one-year thing. It means so much to me.”
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