Filipina cancer survivor bikes across America to help homeless

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

July 23, 2014

LOS ANGELES – A Filipino woman who battled cancer and won is now fighting to help others who are less fortunate.

It is a mission that is taking her across the country by bike.

Monica Busby has been on the open trails and behind her handle bars for six weeks now. By the end of her two-month trip that began in June, the ovarian cancer survivor will embark on a 3,600 mile cross-country bike ride from New Jersey to Oregon helping the homeless through the Fuller Foundation.

“I had to do an emergency surgery, and when they opened me that’s when I found out that I had cancer,” said Busby, “so I’ve been very blessed that I’m still here and obviously there must be a purpose for me to be here.”

While Monica’s cross-country bike ride is a testament of strength and iron will, it’s also a chance for her to get hands-on experience helping those less fortunate.

Busby has been part of a team trying to raise a million dollars for the Fuller Foundation that helps families find homes and fix them.

“We’re riding about 50 to 100 miles a day and probably passing through 15 states,” said Busby, “and in almost every state we’re going to be once a week building a helping build homes for the elderly and mga families that can’t afford a home or have a really, really dilapidated home.”

The 38-year-old Hollywood publicist was already cycling prior to her cancer diagnosis, but after she made a full recovery she made it her mission to use her hobby and exercise as a vehicle for change.

“I’m not much of the gym type so when I got on my bike – and it’s a great culture here in Los Angeles, so I’m sure throughout America and especially Europe – it’s a social exercise,” Busby said. “I love being around people and us cyclists, we really love to raise money and do a lot of charities.”

Busby says she trained for this adventure for several months, hitting Southern California’s trails several days a week with her other bike buddies.

The Fuller Foundation’s convoy left New Jersey in early June.

After six weeks, they are in Montana and are on pace to finish their trip in Oregon in a couple weeks.

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