Brady Stroh continues biking for teammate killed in car crash

Brady Stroh, as the only Oregon member of a charity cycling team headed to the state, feels a special responsibility in finishing the 4,400-mile ride for a friend who was killed along the way.

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Brady Stroh, a 2012 Oregon High School graduate, gets his beard cut by teammates while biking across the U.S. to help raise money for charity.Stroh was originally inspired to bike across the country because his childhood friend Katie Morris died from cancer April 25, 2007. They played together on the American League Oregon City baseball team during fourth and fifth grades ("OCHS grad to bike across U.S. in memory of friend," March 5).

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Jamie Roberts, a graduate of St. Marys College of Maryland, was killed by a car in June while riding with Brady Stroh.Stroh, who graduated in 2012 as student-body president of Oregon City High School, this June began biking from Baltimore to raise money for young adults with cancer. In Kentucky, only 550 miles into the journey, his teammate Jamie Roberts, a graduate of St. Mary's College of Maryland, was killed by a car.

A celebration of her life is planned when her 30-member team is due to arrive in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square by noon Saturday, Aug. 9. By continuing the ride in her name, they've raised about $100,000 when her original goal was $6,000. See Stroh raised more than $1,500 of that solely through a funding drive along the way to encourage him to cut his beard.

"The trip was always incredible," Stroh said. "It was raising awareness about young adult cancer and we were able to help do service projects along the way. When Jamie had her accident and she passed away, it showed each of us just how fragile our lives are, and that we should never take our days for granted. ... We need to live each day to its absolute fullest — no regrets."

Stroh will be a junior this fall at Southern Oregon University, where he trained with classmates for the bike trip he’s always wanted to take. He is studying to become a special-education teacher and school administrator.

By participating in the ride, Stroh had hoped to raise $6,500 himself for the Baltimore-based nonprofit 4K for Cancer in partnership with the Ulman Fund. You can donate to Stroh’s cause by going to his fundraising page, and clicking “Donate to Brady” on the right-hand side.

All of the money Stroh and his teammates raise will go to the Ulman Cancer Fund, which gives scholarships to support cancer patients. His group of about 30 people has biked between 30 and 80 miles daily, along the way staying in churches, YMCA facilities and in the homes of the ride’s past participants.

This type of team camaraderie was apparent as well in Pennsylvania near the beginning of the trip, when Stroh had a rough day. He had popped his tire, and his teammate's bike was destroyed getting run over by a city bus, so they had a 90-mile route with no cell service to get hold of the support vans.

Waiting for the pair to arrive, his teammates finally ordered a pizza. Stroh and his teammate meanwhile were on the final 30 miles of the route — all uphill. He was just about ready to throw in the towel, thinking this was just too much, when around the crest of the hill, he saw the support vans. One of his friends held aloft the pizza box while the van's radio blared the song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough." In that moment, he realized he could accomplish "anything" this ride put in his way.

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