IWU Students to Bike Across the Country for FACE AIDS
April 7, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – As the school year draws to a close, some Illinois Wesleyan University
students are pondering what to do with their summer. Many will choose a summer job
or internship, while others will elect to take summer classes. But junior biology
majors Michael Henry and Vadim Kogan have chosen to bike over 4,000 miles across the
United States to raise money and awareness for the FACE AIDS organization.
This is the fourth year of the FACE AIDS campaign, a not-for-profit student organization
whose mission is to mobilize and inspire students to fight HIV/AIDS across the globe.
The organization, which works in collaboration with Partner’s in Health, has raised
over $2,000,000 since its inception. The money raised provides education, employment
and comprehensive healthcare to those affected by HIV/AIDS in Rwanda.
Henry and Kogan were selected along with four other college and graduate students
from across the country to complete the ride, which will begin on June 13, in Half
Moon Bay, Ca. and end in Boston in August. By the end of the ride, Henry and Kogan
have each pledged to raise $5,000 for FACE AIDS.
“I felt this ride would be the best way to make an impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS,”
said Henry, the founder of the FACE AIDS organization at IWU. Kogan, who was introduced
to the cross-country ride by Henry, felt this experience would combine three of his
interests, cycling, seeing the country and talking to people about HIV/AIDS.
Currently, the duo is juggling a variety of preparatory tasks, including raising
money for the campaign, arranging places for speaking engagements, planning places
to stay and getting to know the other riders via skype.
“We decided that we’re going to be unprepared physically, because we don’t have time
to bike for eight hours a day,” said Henry who explains that they have started doing
P90X, a high intensity workout for an hour and a half, six days a week to prepare.
Kogan, a fitness enthusiast, said that “one way or another, we’re going to hobble
our way across the miles.” Some days will be longer than others. Through the flatlands
of the Midwest, the team will be biking between 80-100 miles a day, but through the
steep incline of the Rocky Mountains, they will average 35 miles.
Once the team reaches a destination, they will give presentations to spread awareness
about the impacts of AIDS and the FACE AIDS mission. Although Henry and Kogan are
aware of the physical and mental demands of the ride, they are excited for the opportunities
and challenges that lay ahead.
If you would like to learn more about the ride or donate money to the cause, visit
Contact: Jessica Hinterlong ‘11, (309) 556-3181