24 de cure
April 1, 2014 Leave a comment
Everything about him exudes determination. But not the kind that ordinary confidence breeds. It’s not anything like ordinary. In fact, nothing about Navid Attayan (’14) is ordinary. His brand of determination is a gut-wrenching, unadulterated courage to keep going. No matter what.
When I first heard about Navid Attayan, now a senior biology major from Gainesville, Va., he was preparing to ride a bicycle from Harrisonburg, Va., to San Diego, Calif. — 3,000 miles. Along the way, he visited children’s hospitals and met with children battling pediatric cancer. He inspired many — and the children inspired Navid.
His grueling — but successful — ride, ProJeKT 3000, garnered more than 12,000 followers and supporters and raised $20,000 for pediatric cancer research.
Navid is motivated by pain. Not his pain — although he has faced plenty while cycling in 116 degree heat through the Sonoran Desert and ascending the treacherous mountain passes of the Rockies. He is motivated by the pain he sees in the faces of mothers and fathers as they comfort their children stricken with cancer. And he pits his determination against the pain of children enduring rounds and rounds of medical procedures, chemo-therapies and repeated hospital stays.
He is equally inspired by their spirits — their courage and their determination to fight. It keeps him going. My favorite quotation from Navid is this: “These kids don’t get to quit. So I won’t quit.”
One might think that after pedaling 3,000 miles that would be enough. For most people, it probably would be. After all, cycling 3,000 miles, alone, on two legs and a couple of wheels is a lot. But not for Navid. I don’t think he’ll ever quit. He’s that committed. That determined.
A campus-wide event
His latest project is 24 de Cure, a 24-hour cycling marathon. On April 29th, he’ll ride his bike, attached to a stationary platform, nonstop for 24 hours. Check out his video on YouTube:
This time, though, he’s not going solo. He has rallied dozens of JMU organizations and hundreds of students to help. “I’ve made this a campus-wide project to bring unique attributes from each organization to unite them for one common cause,” Navid says.
Phi Alpha Delta, a pre-law fraternity will man a table with information on the legal aspects of pediatric cancer research funding. Tri-Delta is planning a flash-mob to encourage fundraising and volunteering. Campus Cookies will provide free cookies, and APO is assembling volunteer help. The Bhangra dance team and other groups will perform. There will be 24 hours of activities, live entertainment and free food. 24 de Cure will also feature arts and crafts, which will be hand-delivered to children battling cancer.
The April 29th event will take place on the Commons and begin with an 11 a.m. opening ceremony. Cycling will begin at noon and continue until noon on April 30. There will be 24 hours of activities, live entertainment and free food. Arts and crafts, which will be hand-delivered to children battling cancer, will also be a part of 24 de Cure. Navid is currently securing sponsors, including some for a raffle.
All of the money raised — 100 percent — will go to pediatric cancer labs at the National Institutes of Health and to a clinical trial currently underway in Calif. “I’m eating most of the cost out of my own pocket,” says Navid. “All funds raised will go toward the cause and not toward any costs for the event. I stand firmly on that.”
There’s still plenty of time to come out, help out, or ride. Cyclists are invited to cycle for a few minutes or multiple hours for a “per mile” donation. Five bikes will be available at the event. He’s also challenging faculty cyclists. “We’re trying to get faculty involved for a “faculty power hour.”
If you’re on campus or near Harrisonburg on the 29th, Navid wants your help. And you might as well sign on….He’s that determined.
For more information, contact Navid at 24deCure@gmail.com.
Read more about Navid’s cross-country ride at SHENANDOAH LIVING magazine: http://shenandoahmagazine.com/pedaling-hope/
You can also follow the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProJeKt3K