Broeder bikes across America to help fight ovarian cancer
April 21, 2009
Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
Craig Broeder, program director of the Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology program at Benedictine University, cannot be accused of setting his sights too low.
“I set a goal beyond anything I imagined I could do,” he said.
Beginning May 15, Broeder is biking across America. He plans to travel 9,000 miles in 100 days, from Texas to the West coast, from California to New York and back to the Midwest. Not for fun or profit, but to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and celebrate his wife’s 20th anniversary as a cancer survivor.
“I want to make a personal and a professional difference to celebrate my wife’s survival of ovarian cancer and acknowledge and celebrate each ovarian cancer survivor in a special way,” Broeder said. “Personally, I cannot envision the challenges I will face as an average Joe trying to go beyond his physical limits.
“But no matter what hardships I face on this journey, they are nothing compared to what every cancer patient faces – chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, loss of life quality, loss of job, family challenges and the potential loss of life,” Broeder added. “This ride is a cakewalk by comparison.”
Broeder’s story actually began in March 1989 when his wife, Kay, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 31. The survival rate for ovarian cancer patients at that time was low, but through aggressive treatments including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, family support and God’s blessing, she survived.
Twenty years later, Broeder is fulfilling a dream, and a vow, to draw attention to ovarian cancer and fund further research into this hideous disease.
“We hope to raise enough money through this event not only to raise female-related cancer awareness in young people, but to fund preventative health behavior research focusing on exercise and nutritional interventions,” Broeder said.
To prepare for the ride, Broeder has spent between three-to-four hours each day for the past two years riding a stationary bicycle. He has also visited Texas and New Mexico the past two summers and cycled in weather anywhere between 102 and 112 degrees “to learn what I can handle and what I can’t handle.”
His cycle will be equipped with a global positioning system and a 911 system that will put him in immediate contact with police or fire personnel should he need assistance.
Although Broeder, a trained jazz musician, has experienced significant hearing loss, he will take an I-pod with him to listen to some of his favorite jazz and even a few musical selections from the “The Biggest Loser” television show “when it is just me and the road,” he said.
His route will include stops in Indianapolis; Pittsburgh; Boston; Washington D.C.; Charlotte; Atlanta; Miami; New Orleans; Albuquerque; Phoenix; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Great Falls; Bismarck; Minneapolis and Madison.
“Can I do it?” he said. “I have no idea. I have done 3,000- and 4,000-mile trips in the past. I love challenges.”
For more information about Broeder’s trip across America, visit the Web site at
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education
recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes
magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business
as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.