My name is Angela Gonzales. I’m an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Shungopavi. I’m also an Associate Professor of Development Sociology and American Indian Studies at Cornell University. My research focuses on community-based interventions to increase awareness about, and use of, preventive cancer screening. With colleagues from the University of Washington’s Collaborative to Improve Native Cancer Outcomes, and funding from the National Cancer Institute, I’m currently working with the Hopi Tribe on a 5-year research project to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer among Hopi women.
To celebrate my 50th birthday I wanted to do something memorable to mark the event. After considering bunjee jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, hiking the Himalayas, or swimming the English Channel, I decided to do a cross-country bike ride. As I thought about the ride and reasons behind it, I thought it would be an excellent way to raise awareness about the importance of preventive screening and to raise funds for the Hopi Cancer Assistance Fund (HCAF). The HCAF was established in 2005 to assist tribal members needing to travel off-reservation for cancer treatment. Since 2005, the fund has helped over 60 individuals and their families with the cost of travel for treatment. Most tribal members must travel more than 400 miles round trip from the Hopi Reservation to Phoenix to receive treatment.
Like so many other Hopis, I have lost a number of family members and friends to cancer. The loss of these loved ones, and the emotional and financial hardship they have had to endure, is what inspired me to do this bike ride. My goal is to raise $10,000 for the Hopi Cancer Assistance Fund.
On September 25th, 2012, I will be departing Bellingham, WA to pedal my bike 1,539 miles to Ventura, CA. I hope that you will consider helping me reach my goal of $10,000 by making a tax-deductible donation. 100% of the proceeds raised will be given to the Hopi Cancer Assistance Fund.