Hopkins 4K for Cancer

The mission of Hopkins 4K for Cancer is to unite communities across the country in the fight against cancer by spreading awareness, raising funds, and fostering hope.


about us

The Hopkins 4K for Cancer is a completely student run, non-profit organization dedicated to uniting communities across the country in the fight against cancer. We have a three-fold misison: spreading awareness, raising funds, and fostering hope.

Each summer, the students of Hopkins 4K undertake a 4,000-mile, two month bicycle trek from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

This year, we have pledged $40,000 to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in Baltimore, a temporary residence for cancer patients and their families. We have also pledged $10,000 specifically to the education and prevention programs at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and $5,000 to the Carolina Panthers' Keep Pounding Foundation for cancer research at the Carolinas Medical Center. By the time we reach San Francisco, we hope to donate many more dollars to other meaningful cancer organizations that inspire us along the way.

We are working to help ease the pain that cancer has placed upon our families, friends and loved ones. Each morning we wake up early and bike 70 to 110 miles through America’s landscape, sharing our passion for our cause with everyone we meet. The trek will be a physical, mental, and spiritual battle, but it is one that we are excited to undertake. On the road we will dedicate much of our time to community service, such as helping with the Relay for Life in Cleveland, OH and visiting cancer patients at the Midland Hospice in Topeka, KS. We have been astonished at the number of incredible people we have met during these meaningful projects. We often find ourselves feeding off their strength in order to climb over the next set of mountains in front of us. Our nightly stops in churches and community centers also provide great opportunities for us to share our experiences with our gracious hosts. We hope that by sharing our enthusiasm throughout the journey, we will impress our passion for service upon others.

4K History

Hopkins 4K for Cancer began in the fall of 2001 when co-founders Leah Blom and Ryan Hanley, sophomores at Johns Hopkins University, decided to combine their desire to do their part in the fight against cancer with their dream of cycling across the United States. This 4,000-mile journey from Baltimore to San Francisco was inspired by the memory of Ryan’s father, the late John Hanley, who died in 1995 from cancer.

2007 is Hopkins 4K's sixth year. H4K has raised over $300,000 and has been recognized with several awards. In our first year, we were named the American Cancer Society’s “Special Event of the Year” and were presented with the first ever Pioneer Award, an honor specially created for our “innovative, creative, and trailblazing efforts in the fight against cancer.” Last year, we received the “Outstanding Youths in Philanthropy Award” from the Association of Fundraising Professionals as well as the Excalibur Award from the ACS for exceptional dedication to the fight against cancer.

The Cause

We will educate ourselves on the issue of cancer and remember those who have been affected by the disease.
We will draw on our idealism and help spread awareness about cancer across the country.
We will communicate with each other and work to create unity.
We will follow through on our commitments and our word.
We will be honest with each other and ask for help when we need it.
We will motivate and support each other to do the best job possible.
We will not yield to limitations.
We owe it to each other and everyone who is inflicted with this disease to make this trip the experience and achievement of a lifetime.

We dedicate all of the proceeds coming from our year of hard work towards cancer research in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Cancer Society.

American Cancer Society's letter of recognition of Hopkins 4K for Cancer  PDF formatted

Johns Hopkins University letter of endorsement  PDF formatted

Learn more about Hope Lodge.