Maybe you already wear a yellow Livestrong wristband supporting Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong’s foundation for cancer survivors. Now you can add a blue Bike for the Fight (BFF) bracelet in solidarity with Tom Peled, a 24-year-old Israeli planning to pedal across the United States to benefit the Israel Cancer Research Fund.
Peled went to Europe last summer in search of a mental and physical challenge to help him cope with his grief following his father’s cancer death in January 2011. While cycling his way solo across 3,000 miles and six countries, the idea of biking for a cause began to take shape.
“The more I progressed in Europe, the more I felt what it was doing for me in a positive way, and the effect on people I met on the way, who connected to my story and invited me to sleep and eat in their homes,” Peled tells ISRAEL21c.
“Every day and every experience convinced me to take what this journey did for me and spread the word, to harness the amazing energy that was around me all the time in Europe. The thing I most connected to was cancer, and the place to raise the most was the United States.”
BFF rolled out with a June 1 Tel Aviv ride organized by the Interdisciplinary Center-Herzliya (IDC), where Peled is studying governmental strategy and diplomacy. On June 4, BFF supporters biked to the Rothschild Foundation “Save A Life Day” health fairs throughout Israel.
About 28,000 Israelis are diagnosed with cancer annually, and some 10,000 die from some form of the disease, making cancer Israel’s No. 1 cause of death.