Bicycle World Record Holder to Race Across America to Help Sister, Others, with Brain Cancer (source:

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Maria Parker, who has set four world speed records for long-distance bicycling in the past three years, including a new 24-hour world record of 469 miles, is taking on "the world's toughest sporting event" as a platform to raise money for brain cancer research. Parker's sister, Jenny Mulligan, recently received news that she had brain cancer and an estimated one year to live.

Maria Parker on recumbent bicycle

Maria Parker on her Cruzbike Vendetta

Follow me as I race across the USA this June, and help raise money to find a cure for brain cancer.

Parker decided to use her unique cycling ability to raise awareness of brain cancer, and to find a cure for this highly fatal and poorly understood malignancy. Over 24,000 cases of brain cancer will be diagnosed in 2013, with 4,300 of those diagnosed being children. Currently, there is no known cure. Brain cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in children behind leukemia, the second leading cause of cancer death in males ages 20-39, and the tenth leading cause of cancer death in women. In 2012, 13,700 people will die from cancer of the brain or nervous system. The prognosis for somebody diagnosed with Jenny’s type of cancer is extremely short – averaging only 12-14 months.

Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) was founded in 2001 to address the lack of treatment options for brain cancer patients. Since 2001, ABC2 has raised over $16 million for brain cancer research. ABC2 applies an entrepreneurial approach to medical research, essentially “buying down the risk” in the drug discovery process to bridge the gap that exists between academic research and pharmaceutical companies which bring those treatments to patients. It is because of this unusual approach to research and discovery that Parker, under the team name: "3000 Miles to a Cure" has chosen to donate all their proceeds to ABC2.

Race Across America (RAAM), is one of the most highly respected endurance sports events in the world. Outdoor Magazine calls RAAM the “world’s toughest sporting event”. Parker will begin the race in Oceanside, California, and will climb over 128,000 vertical feet and ride approximately 3,000 miles to Annapolis, Maryland, over the course of about 10 days. RAAM is 1000 miles longer than the Tour de France, has 50% more climbing, and is completed in about half the time. Racers are not allowed to benefit from drafting off one another, as in the Tour de France. Since 1982, only 31 women have finished the race, including only one woman on a recumbent bicycle.

3000 Miles to a Cure is adopting a grassroots approach to fundraising. "While not ignoring corporate donors, we are focusing on individuals who can give $5 or $10. If 200,000 people pledge to give just $5 each, we will have met our $1 million fundraising goal. Today, brain cancer has no cure. You and I can change that", Parker said.

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Jim Parker
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