A Battle Creek native is making a cross-country bike ride to raise money for cancer, in memory of her father.

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Nicole Jaeger and her friend Sylvia Maas are about to embark on an over 2,000-mile journey via bicycle to raise money for cancer research in memory of her father. Nicole's father Marshall, lost his battle with throat cancer.

It wasn't just the loss of her father that changed the trajectory of her life, it was in the time they spent together following his diagnosis. Nicole grew up in Battle Creek and was a graduate of Lakeview High School. She dreamed of becoming a Physical Therapist but just like the rest of us, life had plans.

Nicole eventually found herself living in California working for "Corporate America" when she received a call that changed everything. Nicole's father Marshall would be undergoing a very difficult 12-hour procedure to treat his cancer by a team of doctors at the Rogel Cancer Center at the University of Michigan.

Nicole immediately returned to Battle Creek to be with her family, help her father through his recovery, and spend every precious moment together knowing each was borrowed and precious.

It was during her father's recovery that she was reminded of the dream she once had. While assisting her father and his Physical Therapist with his recovery the therapist asked Nicole if she had ever considered going into the field. The therapist could see the difference Nicole's work with her father was making in his recovery and urged her to pursue a career.

Sadly, Nicole's father lost his battle with cancer. The time Nicole spent with him changed her and the path she was on in life. She eventually left the office grind behind and began her journey toward earning a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She has since earned that degree.

Now Nicole is focusing on something else her father believed in. Giving back to others. While Nicole can't bring her father back, she can do something to help others going through a similar journey and diagnosis. Raise funds for cancer research.

Nicole will be making a 2,200 cross-country bike ride across the United States with her dear friend Sylvia to raise money for cancer research. All funds raised will go to the Marshall W. Jaeger Head and Neck Cancer Research Fund at the University of Michigan Health Rogel Cancer Center.

Her goal is to raise $50,000 with an anonymous donor matching all donations made up to $25,000. Nicole and Sylvia will begin their journey on July 1, 2022. They will carry everything they will need for the journey in bags on their bikes. There will be a gathering for the ladies in her hometown of Battle Creek before they begin the last leg of the trip to Ann Arbor.

On the fundraising page, Nicole notes that an estimated 65,000 people will learn that have head and neck cancer this year alone. She says that the Rogel Cancer Center is at the forefront of research in finding advanced and alternative treatments so that others will not have to endure the radical surgery her father had.

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