By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One-fourth of those who die in our country succumb to cancer. As part of our continuing community commitment, WJZ was a sponsor of a first of its kind event this weekend.

Mike Schuh and Mary Bubala take us on a 150-mile journey to victory.

The Ride to Conquer Cancer starts near DC. A thousand riders donated $2.5 million. Mary and Mike were two of them.

Each rider must raise $2,500 to participate.

They rode 150 miles in the cold and damp. They slept in a field past Frederick and Sunday morning, it was 46 degrees.

But Doretha Burrell loves it. She’s blessed to be alive. Her flag means she’s a cancer survivor. When the hills are too much, she doesn’t complain.

“It seems like every time I get to the top of a hill, I remember those moments when I was beating cancer,” she said. “It is truly an honor.”

It’s a journey some must join.

Mary Bubala and her husband, Hopkins Cancer Doc Doug Smith, raised over $25,000.

“It’s part of my life’s work so it really is a great opportunity to ride in the race and really contribute,” Smith said.

Dr. Doug Smith treated rider Doug Smith.

“When I have a hard day on the bike, I say it’s not chemo. Chemo’s a lot harder,” he said.

We all have reasons to ride. I think of my mom, my sister and other relatives. This may be long but it’s nothing compared to what they went through. Mary thinks about her mom. She passed away from brain cancer 15 years ago.

Out here, you have a lot of time to think and hope this temporary community is making a difference for the millions whose fight has just begun.

Our journey finished 150 miles in. Mary and her husband crossed the line together.

The dates are already set for next year’s ride. Raise $2,500 and join them on September 18 and 19, 2015.

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