"I will bike for my mom. I will bike to support people who struggle. I will shine a light brightly upon this nation to let others know that cancer is not taboo," Deetjen wrote. "Cancer is not something to be silent about. It must be defeated!"
In order to participate, each rider must raise $3,500, according to the Illini 4000 website. Money goes to support the American Cancer Society and Camp Kesem, a summer camp for kids whose parents have been affected by cancer.