State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Cyclist Embarking on Statewide Ride to Raise Money for THON

by on October 16, 2013 6:50 AM

Tyler Knabb's mother passed away from cancer on July 16, 2003. He turned 14 years old that same day.

Now, ten years later, Knabb is doing his part to fight cancer. He's the force behind "Cycling for the Kids," a statewide bicycling fundraiser. Knabb will be pedaling all around Pennsylvania to raising money for a THON organization called The Hope Express.

Knabb will begin his journey on Oct. 22. Before it's over he'll visit 11 Penn State commonwealth campuses, including University Park, as well as Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

He's already raised $2,000 for The Hope Express and wants to reach $3,000 by the end of the month. The tour's 920 mile path is in the shape of a heart.

Knabb's mother, Carol, passed away from a very rare form of sarcoma. Knabb says she was always a very athletic woman, and that she originally went to the hospital thinking she pulled a muscle playing tennis. She died suddenly a short time later.

"One reason why I'm so supportive of THON is because her cancer is primarily a childhood cancer," Knabb says. "They sent the biopsy of the cancer down to Johns Hopkins to research it."

His mother would not be the last person Knabb lost to the deadly disease.

This past August, Knabb's friend Michael Chobot passed away from leukemia after a two year fight.

"He was battling an aggressive and rare form of leukemia for 22 months and had various treatments," Knabb says. "After about a year the cancer went into remission, then it came back after getting his bone marrow tested and in that case, there was nothing further that they could do."

Chobot graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in film-video. Chobot was a sound engineer and was nominated for a national Emmy Award for his work on a documentary called "An Original DUCKumentary."

Knabb is still working out the details of his trip, but he plans to roll into State College Oct. 25 at about sunset. On Oct. 26, he also hopes to run in the THON 5K.

Cycling for the Kids has two purposes Knabb says. One is to raise money for The Hope Express, while the other is to raise awareness about THON.

"Being in central Pennsylvania a lot of people do know about THON," Knabb says. "But there is a good portion of people in the region and all over Pennsylvania that don't know about THON."



Adam Lidgett is a freelance reporter who has covered news and feature stories in State College and Centre County.
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