Philadelphia University architecture students Cameron Swengel and Alex Klohr will lead a team of eight cyclists on a 30-day Maine to Florida ride to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The riders, including six PhilaU students, will kick off the trip on Monday, May 20, pedaling south along the Atlantic coast for 2,637 miles from Bar Harbor, Maine to Key West, Florida. To reach Key West by June 22, Swengel estimates the group will need to cover approximately 90 miles each day, or about six hours of riding daily. During the journey, the team will camp out and also stay overnight in hotels and homes.
So far, the team has raised $20,000 toward their $30,000 fundraising goal. Each rider is responsible for raising $3,000 in donations. The team also includes PhilaU students Max Yousey, Chris Jones, George Renzulli and Michael Otterbein, as well as Kayla Jacoby and Stephen Rosenberger.
Swengel’s interest in raising awareness of MS stems from the impact the disease has had on his family. Swengel’s grandfather was diagnosed with MS in the 1980s and died before Cameron was born. When Swengel was a teenager, his father also was diagnosed with MS. Swengel said there are some “genetic tendencies” for MS, which may put the rising junior at a greater risk for developing MS.
The ride will be Swengel’s second long-distance tour to raise money for MS research. As a high school senior, he completed a 50-day cross-country trip, raising more than $22,000 to support the cause.
Swengel, of York, Pa., and Klohr, of Princeton, N.J., said they are motivated by the goal of raising money and educating America about the devastating effects MS has on both individuals and their families.
In a recent interview with WHYY Newsworks, Swengel and Klohr said they share a passion for social entrepreneurship. “As architecture students, we’re taught to look at a problem and find a solution,” Klohr said. To read the full story, click here.
Along their journey, the team will be making rest stops at PhilaU (May 28-29), Nags Head, N.C., and the Florida Institute of Technology to promote MS awareness.
To follow the team as they ride across the nation, or to donate money for their cause, please visit coast2coastforMS.webs.com.