Illini 4000 rides through La Crosse raising funds for cancer research

Raising funds and awareness of cancer is bringing a group of cyclist to the La Crosse area.

The riders from the Illini 4000 made a stop at Mayo Clinic Health System Thursday in La Crosse as they work to raise money for cancer research.

Students from University of Illinois started their 4,000 mile journey in New York City about a month ago.

As part of their travels, riders will interview cancer patients and survivors in the hopes of learning how the disease impacts communities.

“Hearing and seeing stories like those every day on this is something that really brings it to a personal level and shows you how much of a smaller part that I play in such a big problem as cancer to solve,” said Ryan Watkins of the Portraits Project.

The group will ride to Rochester Minnesota Friday.

They will finish their cross county trek in August when they get to San Francisco.